A San Francisco city councilman introduced municipal legislation earlier this week that would prevent landlords from evicting teachers for the duration of the academic year.
The sponsor of the law is Democrat David Campos, reports neighborhood news site Mission Local.
The rationale for the proposed law is that teachers’ salaries are too low to afford rent in San Francisco, a city plagued by government-mandated rent control. When teachers are forced to move, it’s hard on them. If they quit their jobs during the school year, children in schools suffer.
“San Francisco cannot be a world class city without world class schools, and you cannot have world class schools without educators,” Campos proclaimed at a Tuesday press conference outside city hall, according to Mission Local.
“A credentialed teacher makes less than $3,400 a month,” Campos also said. “A one-bedroom apartment is more than that.”
Campos also noted that San Francisco is currently experiencing a teacher shortage.
“We cannot educate our children if we do not have the personnel to actually do that,” he said.
Teachers “cannot compete” in the expensive, heavily regulated city, board of education president Sandra Lee Fewer added, according to Mission Local.
Kristen Panti, a teacher at an after-school program called Las Americas, welcomed Campos’s regulation.
“I don’t know what I would do, frankly,” Panti said, concerning the prospect of paying an actual market rate for an apartment if she were to lose her rent-control status.
“This legislation would help us not have to deal with that during the school year,” she told Mission Local.
The bill protecting San Francisco teachers from the savages of paying rent seems to be directed at least in part toward Anne Kihagi, a mysterious real estate developer who appears to be hated by pretty much everyone.
Kihagi evicted Allison Leshefsky, a gym teacher at San Francisco’s Paul Revere Elementary School, back in December.
Leshefsky, like many other tenants evicted by Kihagi, said she faced unrelenting and unfair harassment from the landlord before her ultimate eviction.
“I’ve always paid my rent on time,” Leshefsky told CBS San Francisco. “I’m the ideal tenant.”Kihagi’s ultimate motive is unclear but it appears to be to transform rent-controlled apartment buildings into buildings where she can charge market rates.
Rent control tends to lead to shortages of available apartments in cities where it is imposed, which in turn leads to artificially high rental rates for nearby apartments which have market-based rent rates.
Campos, the sponsor of San Francisco teacher-rent legislation was born in Guatemala and came to the United States when he was a child as an illegal immigrant. He is gay.