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Re: Stipend Vs. Days
Well, I would almost guarantee cost of living is cheaper in those small rural towns as well. Housing costs especially unless you are building a new home, (current prices are high for all materials), but other things like distance to work, insurance, and general housing are much cheaper. If you are getting 15 extra days that covers camps and getting everything finished up at the end of the school year so that's plenty. 3k for a stipend isn't a lot but those smaller rural schools where games are almost always on Friday, (weekends open), probably aren't doing 6 marching contests, indoor winter guard and drumline, and honestly, probably only have 1 after school marching rehearsal because they share their kids with every other activity in the building so it gets done during class or it doesn't get done.
Nobody gets rich in teaching unless you become a superintendent or upper admin in a large district. Teachers make a very good, comfortable living and with good management will want for little, (unless you have a millionaire thirst for stuff). And I would really encourage teachers to stop complaining about money. As a former teacher, (still involved in education), I grow tired of hearing how bad teachers have it when I know I worked more as a band director than my current profession but I also got paid SIGNIFICANTLY more. Look around your community, especially your students and unless you are in a suburban community or a select private school with 2 parents college educated you are probably making much more money than the families you serve.