By Sahid Fawaz
A senior Arizona lawmaker has some advice for teachers who want a better life: stop expecting a better salary and start working a second job.
“Teachers in Arizona are getting second jobs not because they’re struggling to survive on their low pay, but because they want to enjoy the finer things in life, like boats, according to House Majority Leader John Allen.
‘They’re making it out as if anybody who has a second job is struggling. That’s not why many people take a second job,’ Allen said. ‘They want to increase their lifestyles. They want to improve themselves. They want to pay for a boat. They want a bigger house. They work hard to provide themselves with a better lifestyle. Not everyone who takes a second job does it because they’re borderline poverty.’
Allen, a Scottsdale Republican, made the remark as an explanation for the controversial comments he made during a vote Tuesday on a bill to allow more people without formal teacher training to teach at K-12 schools. The bill, SB1042, passed the House and is awaiting Gov. Doug Ducey’s signature.
During the vote, Allen said the fact that some teachers have to hold a second job to make ends meet doesn’t mean lawmakers don’t care about them. Instead, it shows teachers are enterprising Americans, like many lawmakers, he said.
‘Most of us in this room have a second job. Good for them,’ he said, adding he likes it when people use their ‘God-given talents’ and try to make themselves better.
‘That’s America. The idea that we are somehow torturing somebody if they have a second job is just ridiculous. And (teachers) have a long summer. What a great opportunity for people like us and teachers to go out and get a second job. Let’s all get a second job this summer,’ he said.”
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