Posted by on September 22, 2022 7:41 am
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Miami builds high-rise apartments for teachers in ritzy neighborhood

Classroom of school (maroke/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Miami builds high-rise apartments for teachers in ritzy neighborhood

Barnini Chakraborty September 22, 07:00 AMSeptember 22, 07:01 AM Video Embed

Teachers in one Florida county are being offered luxury living at bargain-basement prices as part of an initiative to keep them from relocating to other areas.

Construction has started on a 29-story, $190 million apartment building in Brickell, one of Miami-Dade’s most expensive communities. It is part of a $225 million public-private partnership to build a public school and apartment tower on county property. The area is in the city’s financial district and sports multiple million-dollar luxury condos with views of Biscayne Bay.

A 465-unit apartment high-rise will include 279 apartments that will be leased at market prices. The other 186 units will be reserved and rented to those seeking affordable housing, including teachers and other local workers who have lengthy commutes.

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM WORKS TO SUSTAIN THE SYSTEM, NOT FOR STUDENTS

The $35 million K-8 school being built on the property, which is expected to wrap up construction in early 2023, will also include 10 one-bedroom apartments solely for teachers who work at the school.

“This is important because education is the building block for the community so that it can prosper and grow and ensure the staff has options,” Michael Liu, director of the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development Department, told the Miami Herald. “That’s why we were willing to allow the school to build a school on our property and have some units of housing there.”

According to RentCafe.com, the average cost of a one-bedroom, 887-square-foot apartment in Brickell is about $3,068 per month. The average starting salary for a teacher in Miami-Dade County is $47,000, the ninth-highest in the nation.

Rents at the new complex will range from $750 per month for a studio apartment to $3,950 per month for a three-bedroom apartment at market cost.

School districts across the country have been facing steep teacher shortages and are scrambling for ways to incentivize teachers to stay.

“I have never seen it this bad,” Dan Domenech, executive director of the School Superintendents Association, told the Washington Post. “Right now it’s number one on the list of issues that are concerning school districts … necessity is the mother of invention, and hard-pressed districts are going to have to come up with some solutions.”

Low pay, large class sizes, burnout, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all contributed to the lack of available teachers.

In Florida, there were nearly 9,000 vacancies for teachers and support staff in 2021 — 4,961 for teachers and 3,753 for support staff, according to the Florida Education Association.

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“By August 2022, the situation was worse,” the organization said. “FEA tallied a total of 10,771 advertised vacancies, with 6,006 for teachers and 4,765 for support staff — teachers aides, Exceptional Student Education (ESE), and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) paraprofessionals, bus drivers, food-service staff, custodians, and other essential employees.”

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