The EdSource analysis of teacher pay and housing cost data included two primary components: 2017-18 J-90 forms from the California Department of Education (CDE) and FY2018 fair market rents from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Districts detail teacher salary data on the J-90 forms filed with the California Department of Education.

Our analysis uses “Lowest Schedule Salary Offered,” “Average Schedule Salary Paid,” “Salary at BA+60 Step Ten Offered” and “Highest Scheduled Salary Offered” from the 2017-18 J-90 Summary provided by CDE. The numbers for each level vary based on district contracts, hiring requirements, and average experience of the workforce.

This data offers the most comprehensive and standardized resource to analyze how much teachers earn. One limitation is that districts are not required to file the salary information. The information was filed for the 2017-18 school year by 680 of the state’s nearly 1,100 districts. The districts that filed the information enroll nearly 85 percent of all students in the state.

The salary data was correlated with fair market rent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The analysis was based on rents from the 2018 fiscal year to match the 2017-18 J-90 data, which was the most current available.

Fair Market Rent is calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as an estimate of rent for a modest one-, two-, three-, or four-bedroom rental apartment or home. It typically represents the 40th percentile of gross rents for standard rental units and includes the costs of shelter and utilities. The figures are used to determine payment standards for HUD housing programs.

Fair market rent data has limitations that affect the analysis. The amounts reflect the rents for modest apartments. The market can certainly include higher priced rentals. That means that the HUD rental data is a conservative estimate of cost.

Affordable housing is a federal standard defined as spending no more than 30 percent of a household’s gross income on rent and utilities. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2018 report, “Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing,” defines paying over 30 percent of a household’s gross income as cost-burdened. Households paying over 50 percent of gross income are considered severely cost-burdened.

EdSource’s analysis was based on a teacher’s salary as  the only household income source available.

EdSource obtained the HUD data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which compiled the national data set.

Additionally, HUD’s fair market rent regions cover fairly large areas that contain significant variations in housing costs.

For example, the Oakland-Fremont Federal Metro Fair Market Rent Area covers all of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, stretching from Oakland in the west past Antioch in the east and south to Livermore and Fremont. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metro Fair Market Rent Area includes the entirety of those cities, an area with a population over 10 million. In this analysis, the assumption is that teachers in search of affordable housing would commute long distances from the outskirts of a metropolitan region.

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  1. Joanne 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

    So, how can we solve this problem? I’m a teacher in L A County. I can neither afford to move nor pay my rent, which goes up 3% each year. I am 64 and getting ready to retire. I’m not looking forward to retirement, due to these facts: housing costs are only going to continue to go up, and food costs are ridiculous. Gas, utilities, medication, etc are going … Read More

    So, how can we solve this problem? I’m a teacher in L A County. I can neither afford to move nor pay my rent, which goes up 3% each year. I am 64 and getting ready to retire. I’m not looking forward to retirement, due to these facts: housing costs are only going to continue to go up, and food costs are ridiculous. Gas, utilities, medication, etc are going to eat up my retirement check. I’d rather work, so that I can maintain my meager lifestyle.