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Byline: Lori Aratani
For Santa Clara Unified Superintendent Paul Perotti, the drill has become altogether too familiar: A gifted new teacher is hired into the district. Her students adore her. Her bosses praise her. And two years later she's gone.
Santa Clara's novel solution _ building affordable apartments to lure and keep teachers _ is spreading throughout the Bay Area and across the country in communities where rents and home prices are driving new faculty away faster than schools can recruit them.
Last October, a day after Perotti first presented the idea to the board, the district was inundated with calls. Now at least two other Bay Area districts _ San Francisco and San Jose unified _ say they, too, want to build housing for their teachers. And in Aspen, Colo., the school district already has built not just apartments for teachers but also homes they can buy.
The apartments are part of two-pronged strategy the district is using to keep good teachers in the area. The district also plans to announce a venture with chip-maker Intel Corp. that will help teachers buy homes in Silicon Valley.
Nationwide, a massive teacher shortage has made it difficult to find qualified educators to teach in public schools. But in affluent areas like Silicon Valley, school districts face an …