I have a BA in Art Ed, and I currently have about 17 credits of 34 needed to complete my MA in Art Ed. I received tuition waivers for these credits (still had to pay fees), so essentially my masters will be discounted 50%. However, looking at the math, I don’t know if completing my Master’s will be worth it financially. My current district is nonunion, independent, and public, and therefore doesn’t offer step raises or boosts with degrees. Our raises max out at 2.5% , with a LOT of PD and nearly perfect on your evaluations (I don’t know of anyone that got that last year- I only got 1.5%) and a COLA every 3 years (I’m due for one this year). No teacher in my district makes more than $78k (official district salary cap). In a few years (~4 or so) I will be eligible for PSLF if it still exists.
I love what I do (an art integration model in high school), and my colleagues and admin are awesome and supportive. I have a great budget . However, my wife is a teacher too (in the same district) and we paid for her dual masters basically out of pocket, so we have high loan payments on her side of things and if we add another $300/month of loan payments without a corresponding raise in pay it might break us financially. Last year my wife took a second seasonal job and we did summer PD with stipends that paid us over $1700 total just to make ends meet, and I’m sick of having to pinch pennies to make sure food gets on the table.
I’ve started toying with private sector employment options, but I’m not sure an MA in Art Ed would be useful there, and where. I’d like to advance my career out of the classroom and be able to use my experience and expertise at an admin level but I have zero interest in being a principal or superintendent. I’m open to changing districts if necessary.
I’ve thought about advancing into Academia and pursuing a doctoral degree but my prospects there look even more dismal.
What are everyone’s thoughts on this? Would it be worth it? Has anyone used an Art Ed masters outside of education? What are my options?
Thanks in advance!