”The rent in this area is just astronomical. When teachers come to Odessa, and they start looking for housing there’s nothing that’s affordable,” says teacher Javier Ruiz.
ECISD says the new housing deal with Weidner Property Management is a step in the right direction to solving the teacher shortage.
”We’re just thrilled to be able to offer this as we recruit and maybe it will work out and help us land some teachers that otherwise may not have been able to find a place to stay,” says ECISD Communications Officer Mike Adkins.
The apartment property is offering ECISD 100 units at a 10% discount with additional discounts for moving costs but Adkins says it won’t take long for those to fill up. ”We’re really excited to get it started now. I don’t think it’s going to take long for us to fill those 100 units we have a lot of people who we are hiring and who are moving in here and are going to be looking.”
Ruiz, who is also the Ector County TSTA President, says he attended the meeting to discuss teacher raises and hearing this was icing on the cake. ”If the district is reaching out and making arrangements with Weidner that means that they’re investing in their teachers which is a good sign.”
The ECISD Board of Trustees approving both the teacher raises and the housing deal on Wednesday.
Ruiz adds that ”it’s a great feeling to know that our administration is really concerned about our financial arrangements.”
ECISD says they are equally excited to see the community coming together to address this issue. ”Last year was a really difficult year to go the entire year with more than 200 openings across the district. It was tough on the students, tough on the other teachers and on our campuses so this has the potential to help us quite a bit.”