Teacher’s Wages vs The Cost of Living

Matthew Cullen, Reporter

In a few states across the country, many districts have gone on strike. The main reason for these strikes is their pay. Many of them, including teachers from Mira Costa, say that they don’t make enough money to fulfill the cost of living. According to a Mira Costa survey, almost 9 out of 10 teachers from Costa say that they don’t even make enough to live within the boundaries of their own school district. Even the teachers that live a few towns over wouldn’t be able to live there without their partner’s income. Because of the far-away homes, these teachers have to drive far to work every day. These drives can last up to almost an hour. Also, in many instances, these teachers are forced to get second jobs to get more money. The same survey says that 75% of Costa teachers have or have had a second job. To put this in perspective, the National Education Association says that the average teacher salary in California is about $45,000, and Smart Asset says that the cost of living in California is $50-55,000. Though the Manhattan Beach average teacher salary is more than the estimated cost of living, the estimate doesn’t take into account things like insurance, which drive the price up. Our school district is undergoing negotiations about teacher wages and the union is performing subtle strikes because they aren’t getting what they want. One of these include the signs on all of the teacher doors stating that they aren’t available during lunch. Many fear for the future of teaching because of the increase of online school and the dropping wages.