Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 22, 2015

Loss leader

Filed under: Alameda, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

The Atlantic highlighted another segment of the population affected by the high housing costs in the Bay Area: teachers.

The irony is that for communities where families move to specifically for the schools, the teachers that are the backbone of those great schools are being pushed out because they can’t afford to live in the area.

From the Atlantic:

“Housing is one of the biggest reasons we lose teachers from one year to the next,” said Dave Villafana, the president of the teachers union in Cupertino, Apple’s hometown. “They can’t afford a house, and rent is prohibitive as well.”

Villafana, who has taught in Cupertino for 28 years, said that for the last 15 years district teachers have increasingly had to live elsewhere—often a 45- to 65-minute commute away on the area’s clogged freeways—in order to afford rent. Owning a home, he said, is “not even a thought.”

There are some solutions, but they can’t solve the larger supply issue.  The first is the “Teacher Next Door” program in San Francisco which provides loans up to $20,000 for downpayments for SFUSD teachers.  However, that would require actually finding a housing unit that is affordable and, well, given the median housing costs in San Francisco these days, $20,000 is not going to stretch that far toward a downpayment.

This was the most interesting solution, but it’s not a long term fix:

Perhaps one of the most straightforward solutions to the lack of affordable housing for teachers in the Valley is the “Casa del Maestro,” or “House of the Teacher” apartment complex in the city of Santa Clara. Over the past 15 years, 70 one- and two-bedroom units have been built on district-owned land and rented only to new Santa Clara public-school teachers at reduced prices ranging from $1,110 to $1,805 a month for a maximum period of seven years.



  1. I know somebody who taught public in Maine for twenty years who moved back to CA. a couple years ago. They cashed out of the their multi acre spread near Portland and bought a NEW condo in Livermore and he found a job teaching private school in Fremont. He couldn’t believe the cost of housing and the low wages for teachers, and that was about five years ago. His starting salary at his private school just over $40K, BUT he says mostly immigrant population of students who are children of tech workers are well behaved and focused so for him the up side is a lot less stress about preparation.

    Comment by MI — July 22, 2015 @ 8:29 am

  2. That’s what the District was talking about doing with the old ,island High site off Park St, build low cost housing for starting teachers. Have they given up on that idea?

    Comment by Not A. Alamedan — July 22, 2015 @ 8:49 am

  3. It’s in the hands of the Alameda Housing Authority now, I don’t believe there is a specific preference for teachers.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 22, 2015 @ 8:54 am

  4. Why should teachers get a break? Next, we po folks will be subsidizing fire millionaires and POlice housing. In fact, why doesn’t Alameda refurbish the barracks and chow hall at the Point and let the teachers move in and live like enlisted swabies.

    Comment by jack — July 22, 2015 @ 9:18 am

  5. With Salaries and Pensions Costs for the District @ 78 Million a year and we have 500 Teachers, What are they really making.. This 40K a year number is BS …..If Teachers are making 40K that works out to 20 Million. Where is the other 58 Million going?

    Who is being schooled on this math problem.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 10:58 am

  6. Where did all the lottery money go?

    Comment by A Neighbor — July 22, 2015 @ 11:35 am

  7. “It makes you wonder how some California public schools have had to hold bake sales to keep the lights on, doesn’t it?

    In fact, in state after state, where lotteries send millions of dollars to public education, schools are still starved. Why?

    Because instead of using the money as additional funding, legislatures have used the lottery money to pay for the education budget and spent the money that would have been used had there been no lottery cash on other things. Public school budgets, as a result, haven’t gotten a boost because of the lottery funding.”


    Comment by Kristen — July 22, 2015 @ 11:45 am

  8. Americans spend more on the lottery than live pro sports, books, video games, movies + music… combined

    Schools get all the money in California for Lottery. So pretty Big Numbers

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

  9. 8-9. Thanks, but that $70 billion is a national statistic.

    6-7. California spends $76 billion on schools. Lottery revenue is 2% of that.

    Comment by Larry Witte — July 22, 2015 @ 1:43 pm

  10. 10)

    Yes….. Education is a huge Industrial Complex….In CA I guess about 50 times as big as what Californians spend on live pro sports, books, video games, movies + music… combined…… If Numbers are right and comparable and using your 2% number.

    I read CA gets about 7K a student from state and another 5-6 K from Federal Government. 12 K a Year …….More than most in state College Tuitions in CA. Pretty Big Biz.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 2:15 pm

  11. 10. I’d say education is worth more than 50X what we spend on pro sports, books, video games, movies + music…combined. I coach my daughter and six kids for eight months every year in an academic competition. One to three days a week, two hours per session. Six hours max per week. It’s exhausting, and these are the really bright kids. I don’t know how teachers do it 30 hours a week with 35 kids of all abilities, and then do all the extra stuff outside of the classroom.

    The cost of educating a child in California is about $10,000. This is below the national average, which is pretty stunning when you consider that everything else is more expensive here than nationally. The cost of educating a student at a UC school is $15,000. About half of that is covered through tuition. On an inflation-adjusted basis, the cost was $23,000 in 1990, with the state covering $18,000 and students paying $3,000.

    The point of Lauren’s post is that teachers can’t afford to live here. My point is that lotteries are a lousy way to pay for education. Nothing that I can find disputes either statement.

    Comment by Larry Witte — July 22, 2015 @ 4:08 pm

  12. 11. Pardon me. Post 12 was addressed to you, not myself.

    Comment by Larry Witte — July 22, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

  13. When you have 40% of Students who are living in Poverty in Alameda and Receiving Free Lunch at School, it amazes me how we focus on all the money going to administrators, teachers and staff and how they need to be paid more while we have 4000 students who live in poverty and are asked to pay for sports programs and any extra curricular activity. Interesting times .

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 4:19 pm

  14. By the very definition “extra-curricular activities” are activities that happen outside of the normal school day. Is the suggestion that money should be diverted from the classroom in order to pay for a select few to play baseball or golf?

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 22, 2015 @ 4:32 pm

  15. Money has already been diverted…There has been an austerity program going on for years in the schools and it’s not being spent on the kids directly in the way of sports and activities..Most studies and all research is showing how important team sports and activity is for learning and academics.

    How is the modern dance program going in the High Schools?

    How is the Gymnastic programs going in the High Schools?

    How much money is being allocated to make it a better experience for the students ?

    How are the Shop classes do they have going in the middle schools and high schools?

    How is the drivers education and driver training going at the High Schools?

    How many art and music classes are fully funded ?

    How many programs have been dropped?

    If kids and their parents don’t have the money like you do DO what do they do?

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 5:13 pm

  16. Switch all Alameda schools to Charter Schools, that’s what we should Do.

    Comment by jack — July 22, 2015 @ 5:26 pm

  17. Choice is Not an Option Jack………They like to oppress the masses….Freedom of Choice is out in Alameda.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 5:29 pm

  18. They Spent 50 Million to Defeat it…….Big Money Politics…….Teachers Union #1 spender.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 5:30 pm

  19. Modern Dance is taught by a teacher, gymnastics by a coach, shop classes are taught by, guess what, a teacher. Drivers Ed is taught by, oh yeah, a teacher. Art and music require teachers as well.

    Teachers that are in unions.

    Charters schools are also taught by, that’s right, teachers. The difference is charters have the ability to “suggest” to students that they might do better at other schools. Public schools don’t and shouldn’t.

    There are more charter schools in Alameda than practically any other Alameda County city, I believe Mike McMahon knows the percentage. To suggest that Alameda has been hostile or oppressive to charter schools (choice!) or magnet schools (more choice!) is absurd.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 22, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

  20. The salary the teacher earns is only a portion of the cost of each position. Health care benefits, pensions, administrative overhead (maintaining a personnel system, a payroll system, risk management, supervision, academic support people to handle curriculum, special needs programs, coordination, etc.) all are added costs. In most jobs, the cost of maintaining a position is roughly double the salary, even in private industry. And, the teachers don’t take home the salary stated. They contribute to their retirement, health care, sometimes parking, union or association dues, etc. plus their taxes to the feds. and the state. Teachers very often pay for classroom supply costs – stuff like Kleenex for runny noses, extra pencils, glue, markers, notebooks not provided or not enough provided by the District from their own funds. Some families can’t provide this stuff and who else will do it? Portraying teachers as lazy louts on huge salaries, or the District as a bunch of wastrels, is unfair, unkind and just plain wrong.

    Comment by Kate Quick — July 22, 2015 @ 5:53 pm

  21. What’s absurd is the hoops the Charter Schools have to jump thru and how they are treated.

    Give the kids their money and see where they want to attend and how they want their money spent.

    Lets open the world up to them…..This is the 21st century and were living in 19th century School Teacher Mindsets.

    The Parents and Students should have complete control of where and how their child should be educated and let them make choice and see what creative schools we can come up with and create a great experience for the student.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 5:54 pm

  22. Kate your just blowing wind out of your kiester. Your argument is 50 years older than your dinosaur stories. Get a Clue.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 5:57 pm

  23. What’s absurd is the hoops the Charter Schools have to jump thru and how they are treated.

    You must be conflating all the reading you’ve done about American Indian Charter School in Oakland with Alameda’s Charter Schools. Alameda hasn’t denied a charter school application, ever. The requirements for Charter Schools to receive their charter are outlined by the state which have to be monitored by the school district in which the charter school seeks their charter. That person that reviews their program and application has to be paid. With money. The person that monitors the charter school and ensures they are in compliance with state laws has to be paid. With money.

    AUSD just approved a sweet lease deal with the NCLC charter school which allows them to not have to come back every year per Prop 39 for space. How that equals hoops is beyond me.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 22, 2015 @ 6:12 pm

  24. 20 “Charter schools are also taught by, that’s right, teachers. The difference is charters have the ability to “suggest” to students that they might do better at other schools. Public schools don’t and shouldn’t.”

    So teachers in public schools shouldn’t be allowed to tell the truth?

    Comment by jarfree — July 22, 2015 @ 6:20 pm

  25. 25 jack

    Comment by jack — July 22, 2015 @ 6:35 pm

  26. Do….. I’m not conflating anything. I have watched the School Board meetings and watched how hard and dedicated the Students, Parents, and Teachers are from the Charter and kept being moved around like a Checkers Game after them personally painting and redoing sections of Schools they got jacked around in and forced to move. So save the No Hoops stories for the Southern Democrat Witchcraft get togethers with Kate’s Slate.

    They Go Good with the Raving Teachers Union Brigade that entertained at the School Board Meetings and Passing out Coal and ranting Jerry style. What a Piece of Work.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 9:17 pm

  27. Mr. Cobalt (we all know who you are, so why not just use your own name, especially when you stoop to insults) when another has the gall to disagree with you, you have the right to your opinion as well. I may disagree with you but it is pretty inappropriate and not helpful to a rational argument to talk about farts rather than issues and the factual basis for your statements.
    Public schools,

    Jarfree, are just that; public. They must take all comers and/or make provision for those not able to be in a regular classroom (special needs kids). It is the law. Other kinds of schools, charters and church funded, can push kids out if they feel they are not the kind of kid they want or need. Public school teachers can flunk kids or comment adversely on their behavior, but they still have to be provided an education somewhere in the public school system. So, they are “telling the truth”, but can’t act in the way non-public schools can and choose their students.

    A famous quote from Warden Duffy of San Quentin Prison “We could have a much higher class of prison if we could get a much higher class of prisoner.”

    Comment by Kate Quick — July 22, 2015 @ 9:31 pm

  28. 25. charter “success”….stacked deck a little?

    28. Cobalt= Trump

    Comment by MI — July 22, 2015 @ 9:41 pm

  29. Here is a few famous quotes also Kate.

    Comes from Dr. Steve Perry doing some great things in Minority Schools and Charters in US

    THE fundamental problem with traditional public ed is that it’s designed to keep adults employed. So the ‘plight’ of the adults is paramount.

    Only unions, dinosaur pols & some weak pseudo intellectuals are willfully sending forcing our kids into failed schools.

    There IS a movement afoot. Conservatives, liberals, poor, middle class, minority & White are coming together on #schoolchoice

    Don’t let the Volvo or Subaru w the Obama bumper sticker fool you. Anyone fighting against #schoolchoice is fighting to deepen oppression.

    Kids can read your EVERY emotion. If you hate your administration, curriculum, colleague and/or your job, they can tell & they won’t perform

    You want to know why systems fail, go to the board of ed meetings then ask yourself if you want this group to be in charge of our kids?

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 9:49 pm

  30. Kate you and your Ilk can Frame and Label People and Make Ridiculous Statements about another person and think thats ok.

    I call BS on that and it’s just your underhanded way of Insulting.

    You are the Queen Flatulence at BB. So get over yourself.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — July 22, 2015 @ 9:58 pm

  31. This devolved pretty quickly. Can we go back to post 15 before it became juvenile?

    Comment by Larry Witte — July 22, 2015 @ 10:18 pm

  32. Charter schools are public schools and the wave of the educational future in any place that doesn’t consider teachers as prisoners of their students. It seems to me that it’s in the best interest of any school district to totally eliminate so called public schools, except for “reform schools” and convert to charter schools. The idea that a teacher can kick a kid out of school because the kid is disrupting the classroom makes common sense. If a kid is kicked out and placed in a reform school is all the better for the education system. I don’t believe in kow-towing to the lowest common denominator, which is the case now.

    Comment by jack — July 22, 2015 @ 10:18 pm

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