Assemblymember Thurmond Introducing Legislation To Address Teacher Shortage Through School Employee Housing

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Sacramento – Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) is introducing legislation that will provide financial assistance to school districts seeking to develop housing for school employees. 

“Districts throughout California struggle recruiting and retaining teachers. This has come to affect the classroom as the turnover of teachers feeds into the achievement gap,” said Thurmond. “This bill will go a long way to help recruit and retain high quality teachers in California. It allows school employees to live and work in the same community leading to better outcomes for students.”

According to the Learning Policy Institute, 75% of California schools report a shortage of teachers. In high housing cost areas, starting salaries are insufficient to cover housing costs. For instance, in the City of Richmond, exit interviews have pointed to housing as the number one reason for teachers leaving the profession. In rural areas, rental housing is, in many instances, unavailable. In both urban and rural areas, the long commutes faced by teachers and other school employees force many to leave their positions.

The bill provides assistance for school districts to offer housing so that school employees can live in the communities where they work. When they do, it leads to better outcomes for their students as they are able to spend time before or after class with students and can provide individualized teaching grounded in the culture of the community.