California school districts get creative in providing housing for teachers

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Housing for teachers. | Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

California State

Julia Shapero | Contributed

As the new school year kicks off, several California school districts are finding creative ways to provide housing for teachers who are being priced out of the neighborhoods they serve.

Just south of San Francisco, voters approved the construction of a 122-unit apartment complex on property owned by the Jefferson Union High School District, CBS News reported. The building rents to the district’s teachers and staff at more affordable rates.

Terra Nova High School, a school in the district that had previously faced job vacancies over the high cost of living, is now fully staffed, according to CBS.

Another school district in the San Francisco Bay Area recently asked parents if they had rooms available for teachers to rent, The Washington Post reported. The Milpitas Unified School District lost 10 teachers in the previous academic year over the lack of affordable housing.

“Many of the Milpitas Unified School District moderate-income employees are working families and are finding it increasingly difficult to purchase or rent a home within a 15 mile radius or close to the Milpitas Unified School District where they work,” the Milpitas school board noted in a recent resolution.

Schools across the country are facing severe teaching shortages and dealing with the lack of educators in unique ways. Arizona removed the requirement that its teachers have bachelor’s degrees. In Florida, veterans can become temporary teachers, also without a bachelor’s degree.

In California, known for its astronomical housing prices, teachers’ salaries have not kept up with the housing market. In 2016, a Redfin analysis of several California counties found that just 17 percent of homes for sale were affordable on the average teacher’s salary, according to the Post.

As of the 2019-2020 school year, the average teacher’s salary in California was $84,531, according to the California Department of Education. The average home in the state now costs $683,000, according to Forbes.

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