Letters to the Editor: Teachers could afford housing if we paid them what they’re worth

Dolores Huerta Elementary
Students prepare to go to their classrooms on the first day of class at Dolores Huerta Elementary School in Los Angeles on Aug. 14, 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: When I taught high school in Indianapolis for five years in the 1970s, my rent was $100 a month. Moving to Santa Cruz, my rent rose to $165; I even had an ocean view. (“About to become teachers, they’re worried about affording the rent,” Feb. 8)

It took me 20 more years to make enough to buy a house, needing a husband’s salary too.

Teachers were always expected to work free — for dances, clubs, after-school tutoring and other activities. It was assumed that we were just dabbling in supporting a family, that we had husbands making the real money.

Now that the price of housing in Southern California is exorbitant, teachers need to make real money themselves.


I especially feel sorry for the new teachers who left another career. Do they know they’re potentially giving up their Social Security benefits? California teachers are penalized for having to work extra jobs outside education because the housing is so expensive. I get $100 in Social Security although I’m entitled to more than $800 a month from other jobs.

Teachers deserve professional pay.

Cheryl Clark, Long Beach


To the editor: Coming out of college and starting a new job at $53,000 sounds pretty good to me, especially considering that’s for between nine and 10 months of work. I’d say that’s a good annual salary for anyone just out of college.

In addition, teachers typically receive excellent benefits, including medical, dental and vision insurance, sick days and paid leave. And their retirement pensions can exceed the Social Security benefits others receive.

Yes, housing costs in some cities are much too high, but no one forces these new teachers to live in those areas. These people can find lots of teaching jobs in lower-cost areas — or, as many already do, they can live at home or team up to share the housing costs.

George Epstein, Los Angeles