Ensure SFUSD can attract and retain excellent educators in every school.
We’re in a crisis. We live in the most expensive city in the country and pay our educators one of the lowest salaries in the Bay Area (the average teacher salary in SFUSD is $65,000). This makes it difficult to keep teachers in our schools and to recruit new ones. This matters because we know that the most important in-school factor for our students’ success is their teacher.
I’m committed to addressing this crisis, and you can count on me as a school board member to get creative and work with partners to identify and implement solutions. Retaining and recruiting fantastic teachers will take several different simultaneous approaches including.
SUCCESS IN THIS AREA MEANS:
- Increasing educator salaries. The recent contract negotiated between SFUSD and the teachers will help. And the parcel tax San Francisco voters just approved on the June ballot will also help. We have to keep advocating for more education funding from the state and get creative locally.
- Making housing more affordable. We need to look at lots of solutions because one size does not fit all. We need to build teacher housing (the first project has been planned for the Sunset District, but we need to get more started soon), and advance home ownership assistance programs through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and other organizations who specialize in this effort. We can explore group housing and encourage more affordable-by-design options like in-law units. We can also explore state legislation that would allow us to reserve housing units for educators. I want to make sure that educators who are single or those who have families all have options.
- Providing adequate and relevant supports and training to educators. Research tells us that the primary reason educators leave the profession or their own school site is due to a lack of support. This might be lack of support from their administrator, lack of educator-designed professional development options that meet their needs and that they can use immediately to impact student learning, or lack of mentorship and intense support for new teachers. We should also make sure there are enough leadership opportunities for teachers that are not necessarily towards an administrative track.
- Investing in more high-quality teacher pathway programs. SFUSD has recently started its own in-house Pathway to Teaching program that I am cautiously optimistic about, and we need to continue to support and expand programs like the SF Teacher Residency Project, our successful Para to Teacher pathway, and our recent initiatives to recruit more educators of color. We should also consider additional pathways including expanding SFUSD’s high school Teacher Academy program, which currently exists only at Lincoln High School, and explore other ways to recruit from our community, which will increase retention rates as well as make sure our teacher workforce reflects the community it serves.