COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Some teachers in South Carolina are taking the words 'back to school' quite literally, and living in dorm rooms among college students in order to work and afford the cost of living.
A few educators in the Allendale County School District live at The Reserve on USC Salkehatchie's campus already, as part of a new opportunity to live closer to work for the price of $500/month, which includes utilities.
The District hopes this can be an incentive to attract hires to the rural, impoverished area of the state. New teacher earnings start a $33,000/year plus a $6,000 signing bonus. The Allendale County School District has had its fair share of problems over the years. Last year, the State Department of Education took control and disbanded the school board, to improve student achievement.
Interim Superintendent, Dr. Margaret Gilmore, says things are looking up. "Eighty percent of our teachers drive out of this district every single day," she explained on the new housing opportunity. "This is big for Allendale School District because when you have a challenge or barrier about housing in your community and it inhibits people from coming, that's huge."
Robert Ivy is a school psychologist with the District, living in the dorm. Before this new arrangement, he was staying in a hotel room in Barnwell County.
"I think it's going to be an incentive having the housing at The Reserve for people who are looking for employment in Allendale, because it's very difficult to find good housing that is relatively close to the school district, and this I think is significant," Ivy said.