Teaching Profession

Lottery Winners Teach a Rich Lesson

By Anthony Rebora — April 11, 2012 1 min read
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Talk about merit pay: A trio of educators from a Maryland school district—suspected to be in the Baltimore area—have claimed a share of the recent $656 million Mega Millions jackpot. The winners have chosen to remain anonymous, but they have been identified as a special education teacher, an elementary teacher, and an administrator. And here’s the interesting part: According to lottery officials, the three have said that, despite their newfound wealth, they are committed to remaining in their current careers. A Baltimore Sun editorial points out that this says something about the nature of teaching:

How revealing is this? It's often said that only an idiot would go into teaching to make a lot of money. Those who do are motivated by something other than financial reward, and $35 million—the after-tax share going to each—doesn't change that, or at least so it appears.

As the Sun also notes, the educators’ decision comes, pointedly, at a time when public school teachers often are being characterized as unmotivated and self-interested.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.