Fran Cullen is a retired Traverse City teacher who blogs and writes for union publications, and strongly supports the teachers union.

In the August issue of the Michigan Education Association’s magazine, The MEA Voice, Cullen wrote: “Teaching was, and is again, becoming, a ‘second income profession.’ I was raised in a time when the teaching profession was not one that afforded educators the security to raise a family and own their own home. My aunt was a third grade teacher and her salary was what paid for the two week-vacation to Lake Charlevoix each year—that’s it! Luckily she was married to a unionized postal employee.”

ForTheRecord says: That must have been quite an expensive two-week vacation. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average U.S. public schoolteacher was not poorly paid back in the day. In fact, 50 years ago, this source stated, the average salary for public school elementary and secondary teachers was $6,485 a year. In 2015 dollars, that translates into a $49,129 salary.