Responding to a recent News10 story regarding "double-dipping" and high teacher salaries, a Rancho Cordova educator wanted to share a teacher's perspective.
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"Our salaries were going down, and the cost of benefits were going up," high school English teacher Tony Ruiz said.
Ruiz has been teaching high school English for 12 years.
"I trust people as professionals, and sometimes I just wish teachers got the same respect," Ruiz said.
Ruiz said most educators are not in the six-figure salary range, and many spend their summers trying to work up the pay scale.
"I've spent probably about $7,500 of my own money just to take those classes to move over in the salary schedule," Ruiz said.
He knew he was not going to get rich working inside the classroom, but Ruiz said that's not the goal.
Historically, teachers have been able to write off some expenses of making the classroom experience better, but that only covers a fraction of the cost.
"I don't know a single teacher that spends only $250 (the previous tax limit)," Ruiz said. "I know teachers that spend sometimes up to a $1,000 of their own money."
Adding those expenses to the increase in healthcare premiums and other costs, Ruiz just wants people to understand being a teacher is not always a plush job.
"It would be a shame if the public came away from it thinking we work nine months a year and then just go home and sit on our money because I don't know a single teacher that does that," he said.