More Clark County Teachers Quit Due to Deplorable Salaries

Clark County is in serious need of teachers, and on top of that a survey by the National Education Association says half of all new teachers quit within their first five years of teaching. So what's taking them away from the classroom?

It's students, who attend Clark County schools, who really lose out on the whole deal. They lose quality teachers needed in a county with so many vacant teacher jobs.

After years of doing homework, taking exams, Brandi Vallesteros is now in front of the classroom.

"I wanted to be a teacher since the third grade," Vallesteros said. Now she's living the dream, teaching algebra at Valley High. She loves every minute of it and says both her and her job are a perfect fit.

Vallesteros added. "Nope, I'm going to be in the this job forever!"

Ann Kerzie loves teaching too but she left the classroom two years ago.

"I can work a lot less hours doing real estate and I still have time for friends and family and make better pay then I would teaching," Kerzie explained. She says that's the problem. The small paycheck drew her away from the classroom she once loved.

"You look at the other college graduates and you look at the pay scale for what teachers is," Kerzie said. "You can't survive out here on a teachers salary."

Vallesteros says the low pay is what drew her teacher friends away from the business too. But the cost of watching a young mind blossom into an educated adult far outweighs her salary.

"Since I have freshman, when I see them as seniors and see them graduate, and see the difference to now them being seniors. That's going to be a lot more than $30,000 a year," Vallesteros said.

The median income in Las Vegas is $45,000 a year, according to the Las Vegas Perspective. The average salary for a teacher in Las Vegas with a bachelor's degree is $29,000 a year. That's a huge difference.

Click here to email reporter Tedd Florendo


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