Osceola County weighs creating housing to recruit, retain teachers

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The Osceola County School District is looking at a new possibility to help recruit and retain teachers by helping them find housing near their work.


A few weeks ago, Gov. Ron. DeSantis signed a bill that invests more than $700 million into programs, expanding workforce housing across the state.

Now, Osceola County is looking to put some of that to use.

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At this point, the School Board is just starting to look at this as a possibility, but it’s an idea school board member Julius Melendez said could help chip away at a recruitment barrier for new teachers.

“The dream scenario would be to have a subdivision in both the east side, the west side,” Melendez said. “The reality is we can’t pay a teacher $100,0000 a year, so if rents keep escalating and interest rates keep escalating, they’re just getting priced out of the market.”

Teacher salaries in Osceola County start at a little more than $48,000. That means teachers make more than the income limits which would qualify them for programs such as Section 8, but it’s still not always enough.

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Any housing created would likely be a place for all different kinds of government employees including police officers and firefighters, as well as teachers.

Melendez said the school board’s attorney is looking at ways the district could contribute through options like donating to a future project.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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