Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

School Officials Court Legislators.

Byline: Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer

Money To Boost Salaries Could Help Ease Teacher Shortage

As Rio Rancho education officials pleaded with their legislators for more money for teachers over a dinner Wednesday at the Prairie Star restaurant, one observer listened quietly.

Waiter Jay Pierce offered coffee, replaced silverware and thought about his job that paid significantly more than a teaching position ever would.

"I see myself teaching some day," said Pierce, who received his teaching certification from the University of New Mexico in 1999 and still works as a substitute teacher once a week. "It's kind of why I sub. I want to stay involved."

By working 30 hours a week at the expensive restaurant, however, he makes $37,000-$38,000 a year with full benefits and a 401(k) plan. …

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