Menlo Park housing crunch hitting local teachers, students

Local schools say it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recruit and retain teachers who in many cases must commute long distances because they can’t afford the rent here.

After interviewing more than 150 candidates over the summer, Ravenswood City School District, which runs Belle Haven and Willow Oaks schools in Menlo Park, is still short three classroom teachers.

Superintendent Gloria Hernandez-Goff said she expects those positions to be filled before the school year begins, but noted the elementary school district advises prospects to test the commute before deciding.

Ruth Woods, Ravenswood’s director of student services, said her round-trip commute from Hayward can take up to 4½ hours if there’s an accident on the way. And, she added, the East Bay is so overpriced too now it isn’t an option for teachers anymore.

Teachers don’t have the option of flexible hours either.