The Dismal Economics of Education

It’s scary: many U.S. cities are proposing subsidized housing—or have already developed it—as a way for teachers to live in the same cities as the children they teach. The only way they can afford to. (Can you imagine writing that sentence about hedge fund managers or orthopedic surgeons or corporate C-suite occupants?) The first reports I became aware of were about notably pricey cities in California. But the situation is metastasizing as the nation’s economic divide worsens: Washington’s current and proposed economic policies are clearly designed to benefit only people who are way above teachers’ pay grade. But that’s not the point. The point is that not so long ago teachers were among the most respected members of the communities in which they taught, but they can’t afford to even live in those communities today. That seems sadly symbolic of a growing disrespect for education itself.

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