Taylor Swenson doesn’t want to leave San José. She doesn’t want to leave the teachers in the San José Unified School District she’s been training for three years, or abandon the kids she’s been supporting for almost a decade, or stop going to the downtown street festivals she’s been attending since childhood. But along with hundreds of her fellow educators in San José, she’s grappling with the reality that living in housing-stretched, inhospitably expensive Northern California on a teachers’ salary is getting impossible. One by one, they’ve been getting out.
“We don’t have our heart set on somewhere else,” Swenson says, “because our heart is set on here.”
The school system’s plan to build affordable apartment units for the city’s teachers has triggered a fierce backlash in one affluent area.