SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced Assembly Bill 2295, a bill that will spur the production of and provide housing for California’s teachers and school employees.
California’s housing affordability crisis impacts more than three million renters who, on average, pay more than 30% of their income on rent. For K-12 school districts in rural and urban areas, the rising cost of housing has exacerbated the challenges of recruiting and retaining qualified public school teachers. Currently, 1 in 10 school districts are seeing teacher turnover rates that are higher than 25%, meaning that one in four teachers are forced to leave their jobs and students behind simply because they cannot afford to live in the same communities in which they work.
“Teachers’ salaries are not keeping up with the rising cost of living in California. Coupled with our mounting housing crisis, school districts are hemorrhaging good teachers and quality staff members faster than we can recruit them. Ultimately, it’s our children that suffer the loss,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom. “This is shameful. Our teachers are given the task of educating the next generation of leaders in our State and as such, deserve better.”
According to a report on Education Workforce Housing by UCLA cityLAB and UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing and Center for Cities and Schools, school districts in California own over 75,000 acres of land that are potentially suitable for housing. If successful, districts could feasibly provide enough housing to meet the current crisis while simultaneously addressing teaching shortages. Unfortunately, a workforce housing project for school teachers and employees can take over seven years to complete.
AB 2295 would make it easier for school districts to build housing on land they already own without displacing any active school district facilities. The measure removes the administrative barriers that have delayed housing production and ensures that teachers and school employees have access to affordable housing close to where they work.
“Providing teachers with affordable housing removes the financial strains that can impact the classroom and teaching outcomes,” Assemblymember Bloom concluded. “AB 2295 can help us keep committed teachers in their classrooms, provide stability, and an overall better learning experience for California’s children.”
Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.