In case you haven’t heard, among the unintended consequences of the Obama/Duncan/Gates education reform agenda, fewer and fewer college students are pursuing careers in education. Morale among those already working in our schools is down, too, thanks at least in part to high stakes testing, questions about teacher effectiveness, value added measures whereby teacher evaluations are based on student test performance, and so on.

Moreover, nowadays, instead of being lauded and highly respected, teachers take the fall for many of society’s ills, everything from the demise of the family to the still sluggish economy and poverty. It’s no wonder, then, that, according to the Center on Education Statistics sixth comprehensive international comparison report, “The U.S. had had one of the biggest drops in teacher job satisfaction of any G-20 country since 2006.” In fact, in 2011 alone, the number of fourth graders taught by a “very satisfied” reading teacher fell by 26%!

And since fewer young people are choosing education careers, a teacher shortage looms. That’s why some leaders are offering subsidized housing to teachers to entice them and boost their numbers.

For instance:

  1. Last year, San Francisco voters passed a housing bond, and, so far, $35 million of the $310 million raised so far will go towards the construction of apartments on land owned by the school district. The units will be rented below market rates to the city’s 3,500 teachers and 1,600 classroom aides.
  2. Last year, Colorado’s Roaring Fork School District ” leveraged a $122 million school construction bond to secure $15 million for 15 to 20 subsidized apartments to house at least 10% of the district’s 450 teachers.

And so it goes… You get the idea.