Aug 21, 2023 - Education

Owning a home costs a third of an experienced Richmond teacher's salary

Data: National Council on Teacher Quality; Note: Salary estimated for teachers with a bachelor's degree and 15 years of experience in each area's largest school district. Homeowner cost estimate includes mortgage, fees and utilities; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

In an effort to combat a chronic teacher shortage, a handful of school districts across the country are focusing on housing, Axios' Emma Hurt reports.

  • Los Gatos, California, built an affordable housing teacher complex in partnership with a nonprofit earlier this year.
  • Austin Independent School District is looking for development partners to build and manage two teacher housing complexes on unused district land within the year.

Why it matters: Many teachers can't afford to live where they work, which can have repercussions for the quality of students' education, Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, told Axios.

Zoom in: Since 2017, the average American home price has risen 40%, and the one-bedroom rent in the largest metro areas has increased 22%, per nonprofit National Council on Teacher Quality

  • But starting teacher salaries have only risen 15%.

By the numbers: The annual cost of owning a home in Richmond is 33.6% of an experienced teacher's salary, per data from the NCTQ.

  • And it would take them 10-15 years to save for a 20% down payment based on last year's median home sale price.

Reality check: Although each district's situation is different, the root of the housing problem lies in chronic under-compensation of teachers, said Pringle with the NEA.


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