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posted by janrinok on Sunday May 21 2023, @08:37AM   Printer-friendly

Study finds 90% of Australian teachers can't afford to live where they teach:

The teaching profession is already struggling with shortages and a lack of new candidates in a situation widely regarded as a crisis. Now, research warns that teachers are being priced out of housing near their schools, with many areas even too expensive for educators at the top of the pay scale.

The study, published recently in The Australian Educational Researcher analyzed quarterly house sales and rental reports in New South Wales (NSW) and found more than 90% of teaching positions across the state—around 50,000 full-time roles—are located in Local Government Areas (LGAs) where housing is unaffordable on a teacher's salary.

The situation is particularly dire for new teachers. There are 675 schools—nearly 23,000 full-time teaching positions—where the median rent for a one-bedroom place is unaffordable on a graduate teacher's salary.

Housing is considered unaffordable if a person spends more than 30% of their income on housing costs—sometimes called being in housing stress. Those in housing stress may not have enough money remaining to cover the cost of food, clothing, and other essentials.

But affordability isn't just an issue for early career teachers. For experienced educators at the top of the pay scale, 70 schools—about 2,000 full-time roles—are in an LGA where a single-bedroom dwelling is also unaffordable.

"The study shows the last time a first-year teacher salary could comfortably afford the rent for a one-bedroom dwelling was around a decade ago," says Professor Scott Eacott, the author of the study and Deputy Director of the Gonski Institute for Education at UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture.

"Fundamentally, there's been an increasing gap between salary and the costs of housing that the standard pay rise isn't covering, and it's pushing teachers further away from their workplaces or out of the profession entirely.

"The issue is not just limited to teachers, but all essential workers who are increasingly finding it difficult to find affordable places to live within a reasonable distance of their

"The school system is struggling to find enough teachers as it is," Prof. Eacott says. "If teachers can't afford to live near or within reasonable commuting distance of their schools, we can only expect those shortfalls to continue to grow."

[...] Prof. Eacott says part of the challenge is that no single government department or the private sector is ultimately responsible for housing essential workers. While more investment from superannuation funds in essential worker housing developments is welcome, it won't be enough to address the issue at scale.

"The simple answer is we do need to be paying teachers more. But that may not necessarily solve supply problems," Prof. Eacott says. "For example, it is just incredibly difficult right now for teachers to find a place to rent given record low vacancy rates.

"It's also important that we're not confining teachers to just teacher apartments, but creating pathways to home ownership."

[...] "We rely so much on our teachers, so it's only fair we take steps towards providing them and other essential workers with affordable and secure housing options," Prof. Eacott says.

Journal Reference:
Eacott, Scott. The systemic implications of housing affordability for the teacher shortage: the case of New South Wales, Australia [open], The Australian Educational Researcher (DOI: 10.1007/s13384-023-00621-z)


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ChrisMaple on Monday May 22 2023, @03:56AM (1 child)

    by ChrisMaple (6964) on Monday May 22 2023, @03:56AM (#1307283)

    Whose fault is it that U.S. students can't name the 3 branches of government or the first President? It's not that they're not taught, it's that they're slackers, and their parents let them be slackers.

    Most schools separate students by performance. Even those of average intelligence can be in the top group if they are ambitious. Those in the top performance groups read Shakespeare, those in the middle read Heller and other modern crap, those at the bottom drop out. Those in the top group are NOT conditioned to work in a factory, those at the bottom are good for little else; both groups are self-selected. (There are many exceptions, that's just the trend.)

    It's rare - about 1 in 100 - that a student below the age of 18 is self-directed enough for homework to be optional. Most don't want to be in school and resent having to learn; optional homework means no work.

    I'm sick of hearing that schools should teach how to learn. It's a cliché without meaning. How to learn is inherent in schooling: pay attention to the teacher, apply what you've heard or read when you do an assignment.

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  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday May 22 2023, @06:34AM

    by sjames (2882) on Monday May 22 2023, @06:34AM (#1307289) Journal

    Remedial or advanced doesn't matter, when the bell rings you are to move to the next work station. The advanced students may read an expurgated version of Shakespeare translated (sometimes poorly) to modern English, but the discussion still comes down to "and THEN what happened boys and girls?".

    What you described isn't learning how to learn, it's learning how to be bored to tears while being spoon fed bare facts without context.

    Being self-directed is probably rare because the kids didn't learn how to learn starting from the primary grades. Being spoon fed without context for 12 years is enough to make anyone resentful, especially people who actually somehow figured out self-directed learning and actually enjoy learning. Nobody enjoys having cardboard tasting soggy cereal shoved in their mouth repeatedly.