Is This Another Case Of NIMBY Again?


#1

Anyone close enough to this to comment? If I lived there, and had kids, why wouldn’t I want the teachers to be able to reside close which hopefully meant then the kids would have benefited???

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/real-estate/2016/06/south-bay-district-wont-build-teacher-housing.html


#2

There can be many explanations.

  • money saved from the project can be applied on buying better tools, computers, more field trips, hiring even better teachers who would want to work harder for more money even without being offered subsidized housing
  • may be teachers would realize their unions are not supreme lord of the universe and start to work better rather than trying to protect the underperforms
  • may be in future the district can build houses for only the teachers who are super-performers

#3

Clueless about the project. What I do know is there is no shortage of newly teacher graduates wanting to work in CUSD. Turnover of teachers is fairly low :smile:. Turnover is limited to teachers who are getting married (not to a high tech employee) with 5-10 working experience, wanting to buy a house rather than rent a single room.


#4

I still don’t get it. It is not like this is in any way shape or form adding a housing project with low income folks to a neighborhood. These are educators, after all, right? From what I have read, this is even a lot that has not been used in a very long time. Isn’t this the same thing where cities are having issues with their policemen and firefighters having to live far away from their stations?

Since school ratings are such a key to home prices, I just thought this was a slam dunk or Steph Curry 28 fter, but apparently not.


#5

Why not just pay the teachers more?

But there are apparently no teacher shortages. That means the current wage is OK. It may look low from the outside, there must be something else that teachers are getting in return. Job satisfaction? Proximity to kids? Long summer vacations? Job security? Retirement benefits? Whatever they are the incentives are enough and working.

So I am not sure it’s best use of tax money to fund housing for teachers. If you go down that road, how about police and fire fighters? Garbage collectors? Every and all city government employees?

We already have affordable housing programs for low income folks. I would rather use the money to beef up those programs instead creating silos for this and that profession.


#6

This project was driven by developer and had multiple problems.
The first problem was this plan was not even supported by teachers in CUSD. As far as I understood, teachers would be subsidized by school district for 2 years and after that they would have to pay full rent payment. Given that the housing was planned to be high-end condo, parents were not at all convinced that this project would help teachers. Instead, parents wanted to raise the salary which would help all teachers in a better and fair way.
However, one thing to note is that CUSD provides very compelling compensation package (I read one Mercury News article saying that a teacher in my kid’s school gets over $100,000 per year as base salary.) compared to other school districts. Thus, turnover rate is very low and there are lots of applicants to any empty spots (This is from CUSD’s statement in the context of other issue.)
Secondly, both CUSD and FUHSD are going through multiple challenges with over-capacity issue and this school site is only site left for future use in CUSD. It is currently rented out to preschool but in case of worse overflow, this site must be converted as CUSD school again. Given the extremely limited available land in Cupertino area and continuing population growth, it is important to reserve some space for future growth. This is very critical issue to all CUSD parents.
CUSD/FUHSD parents are deeply concerned about overcapacity issue in general and that is why most of Cupertino residents are against Vallco project which would bring significant number of new student without any proper plan. Besides, these are really luxurious condos. I don’t think this kind of development will help low income families either. One can call us NIMBY without knowing much about details, but after all majority of CUSD families paid high premium for quality education of our kids. If this quality is forced to be compromised especially to make developers wealthier, we will do our best to stop it.


#7

Thanks Jane for clarifying the situation more. My apologies for hinting it was NIMBY, but it was more to just get some response on the subject.


#8

No problem!
I definitely understand the view point of other people who don’t know the details.
Even myself wondered why some of parents were so much against this project at the beginning. :slight_smile:


#9

Thanks for explaining, Jane. Certainly makes sense.

In the Peninsula $100K is also possible for teachers–definitely Menlo Park, though not Redwood City.

If there really is a teacher shortage as I’ve heard claimed, I think the best way to address it would be to encourage moms with school age kids to become teachers. I’ve actually thought about it myself, but the barriers seem high to me–I certainly don’t want to go back and get another degree after 8 years in college, I don’t have a good idea of how to handle the sick kid and unaligned vacation issues, and I haven’t taught kids, just college students. I suppose if someone reached out and said “Here’s a free 9 month training program with 3 months of supervised teaching experience where someone helps you in the classroom,” I might seriously consider it. But condo housing doesn’t do anything for me.


#10

Manch,

My buddy from Lowell days actually did just that and couldn’t be happier. Was in computer science related field and decided to become a teacher. Yes, some time is needed to get all of the reqs done but can be done. And his wife is a stay home mom too.

Like finding that great real estate find, just takes some hard work and persistence which I am sure you have. I don’t have kids but I can’t think of another way/career that would be as fulfilling as molding/shaping our future leaders.


#11

I suspect that the district couldn’t find a builder to do this nor could they figure out how to manage the whole project from building to renting. Most school districts are not rolling in money. Federal, state and local constraints exist. Funds are categorical and can’t be used for anything outside the designated use and the bulk can’t be rolled over to the next fiscal year.

Would teachers really want to live there. For me living in a building with a bunch of co-workers close to work would not be desireable. I recall an agent showing me an awesome house that met my needs and more. It was too close to work and on a street that many co-workers used as a shortcut. I could see suddenly being the hang out house and the real kicker was that my boss would easily know if I called sick and was home or if I was running errands.


#12

It’s the person staying home with the sick kids that is the problem. Sounds like he has that solved. In my household, it’s me.


#13

Agree.
Bay area has so many well educated staying-at-home moms.
My kid’s teacher has BS and MBA degree from UC Berkeley. She worked as marketing manager for 7 years and decided to stay at home for her kids. While she was staying at home, she volunteered to her kids’ school a lot and realized how much she enjoyed working with kids. After her kids went off to college, she became an elementary school.
The quality of education she provided to my kid was amazing this year.
I would like to say “keep this option open to you”.
Then, right moment will come to you.


#14

What do you think can help solve this problem? I mean we as a society. Do we provide more childcare options for parents? Are there any companies that provide this sort of emergency short-term nannies?


#15

LOL! Yes, there are such services… and then there are parents… which are not close by for me, by choice honestly.

Spent the evening looking at teacher salaries, and while they do vary depending on district and school type, I don’t think teaching would be enough to help us buy a house at this point. After taxes, it would only be half of what we need to pay the difference in mortgage on these, now doubled in price, houses.

I think it is time i just acknowledged that it is not possible for us to settle here now and figure out an exit strategy. It’s that or take on a full-time programming job. It like there’s low, there’s high, but there’s no middle. I wish there was some option like maybe full time tech job with summers off…

But it’s kind of like the Bay Area actually. There’s the SF/Peninsula and there’s East Bay, but to try to get something that’s the average of the two housing prices would mean living in the middle of the Bay which you can’t do.

I must admit, I’m at a loss as to how someone in Tech would take 1/3-1/2 the salary to teach (plus lose the stocks benefits?).


#16

Terri,

As I mentioned, my high school friend did it and has not looked back. You simply make the sacrifices in order to reach your goals. I know that sounds easy but I can see it. He is like me, in that, he didn’t grow up with money so when you think about it what are you then really missing? It may be a cliche’ but I really believe he is being rewarded in so many more meaningful ways than some money or stock options would. Frankly, I respect that immensely.


#17

But, do you really need to buy a house? The things you are missing out not owning your house, are they important enough to make you leave?

I think I would make a different choice myself. I don’t derive any emotional value from owning. To me real estate is just an asset class that I like. Whether I pay mortgage to a bank, or rent to a landlord, I don’t see much difference in terms of my enjoyment of the house.


#18

Full time programming job may not a bad idea for you.
I am also an engineer with two kids. As you can imagine, my life is quite hectic (like now. I am browsing this blog while my code is being compiled at 1:20am). However, it is manageable because of the culture in many silicon valley companies. I worked at multiple companies here in Silicon Valley and most of them offered very flexible time. Almost none of my (ex)managers mind if I worked from home if one of my kids got sick. All they care was my outcome. I don’t have any relatives here and hardly recall any time I asked for help from my friends. A few times, I used BrightHorizontal nanny service through my company but even then I worked at home because I was not very comfortable to ask someone I don’t know to take care of my kids alone. Majority of my male co-workers have working spouses and we just understand each other’s challenges too well. It is simple fact that we can’t afford to buy decent home without two income sources here (I know… I don’t think quality of family life really improved from old times…).
It can vary by companies to some degree, but at my company, most of us leave around 5 pm and log back on after kids go to bed and work until late night as necessary. Believe or not, the culture in Silicon Valley is way way more family friendly than my home country.
Every family has its own priority and challenges. Thus, I am not in the position to give an advice to other families. However, just want to give you little more insight into the life of working mom in Silicon Valley.


#19

Yes. There are many differences:

  1. I am a DIY, and when you don’t own your own house, you cannot improve it to your liking, and all improvements are immediately lost value to you because you are not gaining even a 20-50% return during a sale. For example, I would love to redo the kitchen, but you don’t rent and then sink $50K into a kitchen. I would love to replace the bathroom sinks. I would love to install solar panels. I would love to install a whole-house water filter, or even just and under the sink one. I would like built in book-cases.

  2. Our current landladies have unreasonable rules on our use of the backyard. Rules that were not spoken or understood before signing the lease. (I got into them in the last forum, but I won’t get into them here)

  3. I’m 45, married, with kids, and I don’t need someone watching me telling me what to do. From “Don’t leave boxes on the porch” to anything else the landladies might tell me, I’m a mother, and I’m done being mothered.

  4. Moving to a different rental is out of the question as it would double our rent or triple our commute, or require 2/3 kids to change schools–the third change in 3 years for one of them who does not easily make friends. If I’m going to move, it should be permanent so that the kids can settle down and make friends.

  5. A paid-off house is a healthy retirement. You don’t own your place, you become that little old lady whining that SF has become too expensive to afford, and how awful those Tech people are for making it soooo expensive. You own your own place? You have no rent after the house is paid off and when its time to move into a retirement home, you have a fund to pay for it with.

  6. Finally, I would very much like control over the maintenance people that come to the house. The gardener, for example, because he is hired by the landlady, I have no idea when he will come, and what he is going to do. I find it very uncomfortable to have people on the property who I have no control over, who are doing things to the yard and to neighbors trees that I don’t like. And it’s not something that they care about.

I just want to settle down at this point, install some built-in bookcases, redo a kitchen, make a nice covered porch with that outdoor kitchen, and plant fruit trees. I’m not here to keep up with the Jones’s, but you know, the Jones’s have some pretty nice stuff that would totally improve the quality of our lives, save the environment, and probably improve my marriage too.


#20

Jane, Thanks for letting me know this. My husband rarely takes home days, so it’s been hard for me to know whether that flexibility exists.