School district urges parents to house teachers amid shortages

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California parents are being asked to go the extra mile this year in the Milpitas Unified School District. In addition to preparing their children to return to school, the district is asking parents to open their homes to teachers.

California has seen a mass exodus of residents leaving the state, largely due to the high cost of living. Teachers average between $47,000 a year and more than $120,000, according to Transparent California’s salary database. The average household income in Milpitas is $154,559 with a poverty rate of 6.69%, according to the World Population Review. While 21% of households in Milpitas earn between $100,000 and $150,000, 44% of households earn more than $150,000 per year.

Redfin, a full-service real estate agency, reported that “The housing market in Milpitas is very competitive. Homes in Milpitas receive an average of 6 offers and sell in approximately 14 days. The average sale price of a home in Milpitas was $1.27m last month, up 1.6% from a year ago.” Redfin added that the price per square foot averages around $800.

Milpitas Unified is one of many local school districts struggling to retain teachers because teachers are unable to find affordable housing. Milpitas Unified is now asking parents to rent teachers extra space in their homes.

A file photo of a teacher in a classroom. A California school district is asking parents to house teachers.
CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP via Getty Images

“We lost some employees that we tried to recruit because once they saw how much it costs to live here, they determined it just wasn’t possible,” said Cheryl Jordan, superintendent of the Milpitas Unified School District, NBC Bay Area.

The parents respond to the request. Jordan said more than 30 people have already expressed interest in providing a room or space on their property for teachers to rent.

The borough does not stop its efforts to ask parents to house the teachers. NBC Bay Area reports that the district is also working with local agencies to secure low-interest home loans for educators and city employees. He also plans to lobby for workforce housing in the city from developers for more affordable housing.

In general, the median cost of a home in California, according to the BestPlaces data website, is $684,800. The BestPlaces study listed various expenses for Milpitas, California, and the United States and then ranked them on a scale. The national average for the scale was 100. If a city scored above 100, it means it was more expensive. Milpitas had a score more than double the overall cost of living. All but one of its subcategories — grocery, health, transportation, housing and miscellaneous — scored above the national average. For utility costs, Milpitas ranks slightly below the national average.

The Milpitas Unified School Board told NBC Bay Area that other economic factors and interest rates added more than 25% to the cost of building a new home. These factors also increase the price of rentals. According to BestPlaces, an average studio rental in Milpitas costs nearly $2,000 per month. Rentals with three or more bedrooms cost upwards of $3,000.

Milpitas Unified has 10 elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander students make up the bulk of the diversity at over 67%, according to US News. Over 18% of students receive free or reduced lunch.

Newsweek has contacted Milpitas Unified for comment.

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