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U.S. history teacher Hope Brown sits in a classroom at Woodford County High School in Versailles, Ky., on Aug. 31, 2018.
Maddie McGarvey for TIME/Economic Hardship Reporting Project

Hope Brown can make $60 donating plasma from her blood cells twice in one week, and a little more if she sells some of her clothes at a consignment store. It’s usually just enough to cover an electric bill or a car payment. This financial juggling is now a part of her everyday life—something she never expected almost two decades ago when she earned a master’s degree in secondary education and became a high school history teacher. Brown often works from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. at her school in Versailles, Ky., then goes to a second job manning the metal detectors and wrangling rowdy guests at Lexington’s Rupp Arena. With her husband, she also runs a historical tour company for extra money.

“I truly love teaching,” says the 52-year-old. “But we are not paid for the work that we do.”

Read TIME’s full cover story here.

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