Broken Arrow Teacher Leaves Profession Despite Pay Raise
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - For some teachers, the promise of a pay raise and more education funding is not enough.
One Broken Arrow teacher said he's done teaching altogether.
News On 6 has heard from several teachers leaving over the possibility the raise will be eliminated, saying they can't wait any longer for financial certainty.
Eric Weingartner is proud of the second job he built into a second income.
He works on racing engines and said that's what allowed him to make a living.
"Without this, we wouldn't have this shop, we wouldn't be living where we are and I wouldn't have the truck I have, without a doubt," Weingartner said.
But Weignartner said this second job will never replace his first love of teaching.
He considers that his true calling, but he's leaving education to work an assembly line job where he'll make much more.
“That was the reason for the leaving, it was the money,” Weingartner said.
He spent 15 years teaching 4th grade in Broken Arrow. He's always worked side jobs and summers to make ends meet.
“I have never had a summer off since I started teaching. People say teachers have the summers off, not me, you have to work to pay for stuff,” Weingartner said.
The teacher walkout helped drive the decision home, he said, because the legislature did not do enough to rebuild the support staff and the pay raise wasn't enough to make up for years of waiting for one.
He doesn't think he can wait any longer to see what happens.
“The 10k raise, I might have stayed, I'll say that. Had we gotten the full $10,000 the first year like we asked, I probably would have stayed but that just didn't happen and I'm not waiting another 10 years for a raise,” Weingartner said.
Another teacher talks about why he's leaving after 16 years over on Emory Bryan’s News On 6 Facebook Page.