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Elizabeth Santos discusses teacher finances

Financial burdens

"Elizabeth Santos recalled that when she went to work for the Houston ISD in 2008, she never thought she would have to take a summer job.

The 35-year-old English teacher at Northside High School said she took a second job as a Spanish and SAT tutor when she became pinched financially after her first year on the job.

But the stress on her finances grew after she gained custody of her niece and nephew, and she was unable to raise a family on her teacher's salary alone.

Things are better now - Santos is engaged, and now her household has two incomes - but she will continue to spend her summer months working at Northside High.

'We're still working in summer - any good teacher will be working on how to perfect their craft,' Santos said. 'Financially it's a burden. If I don't work summer school, it's not even that I won't get ahead; I'll just be making it. A lot of my peers are single moms, and it's hard enough to be a teacher, but it's even harder to be a teacher and single mom.'"

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