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District Proposes Affordable Housing to Retain Silicon Valley Teachers

District Proposes Affordable Housing to Retain Silicon Valley Teachers

Silicon Valley is well-known for being the booming area of tech thanks to high-profile residents like Apple, Facebook and Google to name just a few.

In Silicon Valley’s Cupertino, the school district wants to make sure the area’s teachers do not get forgotten about in-between all of this big business.

Certainly, the tech companies like Cupertino’s Apple are driving the cost of living in the area up, but teacher’s pay is not rising to match. The average price of rent in Cupertino, according to KTVU, is $2,700 a month.

Being unable to afford such a pricey monthly fee, many teachers leave Silicon Valley districts like Cupertino Union School District in search of more economically sensible arrangements.

The district hopes to tackle this problem by developing affordable housing designed for teachers to begin the process of retention.

"On Tuesday, the Cupertino Union School District announced a project. to take...10-acre plot of district-owned land in Santa Clara and build 200 one to three bedroom housing units for educators at below market rent,” said KTVU.

The district is working to hire a developer by next year and if all goes according to plan, the housing is intended to be available to teachers by the 2018-19 school year.

Silicon Valley is not the first area to try attracting and retaining teachers via affordable housing versus higher pay.

“[L]ower rent versus higher paychecks, is playing out in many places,” says NPR.

In North Carolina, which is consistently ranked as one of the worst states for teachers thanks to a combination of reasons including lower-than-average salaries, many districts are turning to creating affordable housing to attract teachers.

Mark Jewell of the North Carolina Association of Educators told NPR, however, that he believes affordable housing is nothing more than a band-aid that will work in the short-term. As teachers seek to find houses, not apartments, to house family and children and to have private yards, they will likely still end up leaving the district for that kind of opportunity, he says.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

12/9/2015

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