California school district tries new way to retain teachers: low-cost apartments on school property

School districts across the country are struggling with a shortage of teachers – and communities with inaccessible housing are often the ...


School districts across the country are struggling with a shortage of teachers – and communities with inaccessible housing are often the hardest hit.

“There were times when we didn’t have a math teacher or we didn’t have a language teacher,” Megan Carey, principal at Terra Nova High School, located south of San Francisco, told CBS News.

The reason? “High cost of living — 100%!” she said.

Now your school district is trying something new: affordable housing on school property. It is a 122-unit apartment complex that was approved by local voters and built for faculty and staff on property in the Jefferson Union High School District.

“It’s very spacious,” said Michaela Ott, who teaches biology at Jefferson High School, which is also in the district. “Extremely spacious!”

Ott said the average two-bedroom apartment in the neighborhood would cost more than $3,000 a month. Her rent is R$1,600.

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A photo of the apartments.

CBS News


“If I hadn’t been able to get housing, it would have been really challenging for me to survive,” she said, later adding, “Being able to live in a place where I feel like I can recharge […] I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.”

Jonathon Krupp, who has taught social science for 13 years, told CBS News he was “absolutely blown away” by the idea.

“There are no words to describe it,” he said. “I think it gives teachers hope.”

While other school districts still have openings, Carey said Terra Nova High School is fully equipped. One such employee is Erick Willemse, who says he wouldn’t be able to train cross country without the subsidized apartment.

“Delivering pizza really pays more than training in this district!” he said, calling the apartment program “a godsend.”

When asked what her message would be to other school districts, Carey said, “Just do it! Everyone will benefit from it.”

“Absolutely money well spent,” he added.

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Newsrust - US Top News: California school district tries new way to retain teachers: low-cost apartments on school property
California school district tries new way to retain teachers: low-cost apartments on school property
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