Brogan Spears and her husband, both public school teachers here in Tulsa, don’t expect to start a family in the next decade — but it’s not because they don’t want children. They just can’t afford it.
Spears, 25, said she loves teaching, despite the poor pay that leaves her eating crackers for lunch or taking money out of her savings to buy groceries. But the small number in their bank account is making Spears and her husband ask a difficult question considered by many teachers around the country: Can they afford to work in education?
Today Spears brings home slightly more than $2,100 a month from teaching in Oklahoma and, like many teachers, she has taken on additional jobs to make up the income gap. But she worries that it affects her ability as an educator.