A South Bay school district is house hunting in Mountain View in order to recruit and retain teachers.
The Mountain View Whisman School District is one of a number of Silicon Valley districts getting into real estate.
Whisman board members decided at a March board meeting to investigate a housing project for teachers. The district is now in the early phase of working with the city and private businesses to put together a plan.
“We are thinking about how do we retain teachers?” said Dr. Ayinde Rudolph, Mountain View Whisman School District superintendent. “We know that housing is one of those obstacles, housing as well as the commute, and so our board is now interested in the possibility of teacher housing.”
District leaders say rental prices in Mountain View are out of reach for its teachers who make an average of $69,000 dollars a year. A one-bedroom apartment in Mountain View rents for $2,507 per month on average, according to Rent Jungle.
Many teachers are left spending multiple hours in the car.
“I do know that people leave because of the commute times and that they are always concerned about traveling and being on the road for two hours to get to their job,” Dr. Rudolph said. “I think that’s the reality within our area.”
The district says the next step is conducting a survey to gauge staff interest in living in a possible housing development, and to better understand teachers’ commute times and average rental costs.
District owned land such as Cooper Park in Mountain View is a potential site for housing. Old military barracks in the city are being considered as well.
Mountain View Whisman is not the only district interested in real estate.
The Cupertino Union School District wants to build over 200 affordable housing units at a closed school site. Santa Clara Unified School District has co-operated a teacher housing development since June 2002.