Whose problem is it?
Vail CO, ColoradoThe median price of all Eagle County real estate sales in March was $655,000, according to Land Title.That’s more than three times what the typical local family of four can afford. Prices like this are squeezing the middle class to the breaking point. More specifically, they are squeezing our architects, police, plumbers, accountants and nurses out of here. To the point, prices like these are part of the reason why the Eagle County School District spends every summer scrambling to fill teaching spots left by teachers who fled for more affordable places to live. There’s a mantra murmured by some that those who can’t afford to live here probably should move. There is some truth to that. Eagle County is an expensive place to live – pretty much always has been and likely always will be. But there’s a price to be paid for letting this philosophy govern how we, as residents, choose to handle our affordable housing problem. And in this case it’s our local schools and students who are paying the price. The district will have to replace 20 to 30 teachers before August. That’s 20 to 30 teachers who, despite their talent and previous experience, will have a lot to learn themselves. They’ll have to adjust to a new school district, with perhaps a different way of doing things, not to mention a whole new set of colleagues. That’s 20 to 30 teachers who will start the school year this year having had zero experience teaching in Eagle County schools. And that’s 20 to 30 teachers who will be leading a classroom full of kids who have plenty they need to learn and will need plenty of help from their teacher to do that. For all the concern we have as a community about the progress of our local public schools, it should be equally concerning that so many of our local teachers each year will be leaving. And in many cases, those teachers take the experience and knowledge that our school district needs to improve. – Tamara Miller for the Editorial Board