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Report Argues for Inclusion of All School Employees in Affordable Housing Programs

Report Argues for Inclusion of All School Employees in Affordable Housing Programs

The September report of Paycheck to Paycheck takes a look at whether or not school workers, specifically bus drivers, child care teachers, high school teachers, groundskeepers and social workers, are able to afford housing in the communities that they work in.

The report concluded that "[n]one of these occupations earned salaries that were high enough to guarantee either renting or owning a home in every metro area” analyzed, highlighting just how difficult it is for essential school employees to make ends meet in this day and age.

When looking at child care workers, the report found that their salaries "are large enough to afford rent on a typical two-bedroom home in only 4 percent of the metros . . . looked at (9 out of 210).”

In other words, in 201 metros, child care workers cannot afford to rent a typical two-bedroom home.

This is not particularly surprising news, as a separate report from earlier this year found that early educators suffer in all 50 states due to a widespread standard of low pay.

High school teachers, who were found to have the highest salaries of all five occupations studied, still have problems affording housing in many of the metros analyzed. While high school teachers could afford rent in 94 percent of the areas studied, they could only afford to buy a home in 62 percent of areas.

On the other end of the spectrum, the nation’s bus drivers, who earn the lowest salaries of the five occupations studied, were found to not be able to own an affordably home in any of the metros studied.

Similarly, groundskeepers, who the report notes play a pivotal role in maintaining our country’s schools, universally struggle to find affordable housing due to low median wages.

The report notes that school employees like bus drivers and groundskeepers are essential figures in keeping schools running, but are typically not included in affordable housing programs that too frequently focus on helping just teachers.

”While school districts should not be solely responsible for housing their employees, many public entities may have resources for addressing the issue of affordability that have yet to be tapped,” the report notes, and argues for the inclusion of all school staff in the distribution of such resources.

Read the full report.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

10/7/2016

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