Teachers Rooted in Oakland Partnership

Teachers Rooted in Oakland: A Partnership Between the Oakland Mayor’s Office, Community Development Finance (CDF), philanthropic partners, landlords, and other leaders.

Our Mission: to advance educational equity by addressing the cost of living and providing affordable housing to increase the recruitment & retention of highly skilled and committed Black, Latinx, and other teachers of color through OUSD’s Teacher Residency program for Special Education and STEM teachers.
What is the Oakland Teacher Residency with OUSD?

A teacher residency is a full year of immersive classroom experience with an experienced mentor teacher in the field while receiving financial support. Each Resident Teacher is paid $15,000 for the year of student teaching, and in exchange is expected to make a commitment to teaching at least 4 years in OUSD schools.

OUSD cultivates and grows local diverse STEM and Special Education teachers to serve our students and communities where systemic racism has had the greatest impact and to increase opportunities for all Oakland students. The goal is to ensure all OUSD students have access to rigorous and relevant learning experiences delivered by OUSD STEM and Special Education teachers who 1) reflect the critical identities of their students, especially Black, Latinx, and multiracial candidates, 2) are highly skilled practitioners and committed to anti-racist practices, and 3) receive the highest quality preparation and support.

Through the Oakland Teacher Residency, OUSD aims to support aspiring STEM and Special Education educators with thoughtful, prepared mentors and an immersive apprenticeship experience. This ensures Oakland teacher residents are trained, prepared, and grounded on day one of teaching.

What is the “Teachers Rooted in Oakland” pilot?

National Research shows that teachers prepared through a residency model both stay longer in the classroom and are more effective than their peers trained differently. However, with Teacher Residents only making $15,000 in their residency year, it has been difficult to recruit highly qualified aspiring teachers, especially Black, Latinx, and other teachers of color to the program. As such, as an additional part of the Oakland Teacher Residency program, the City of Oakland Mayor’s Office, in partnership with CDF, is providing:

  • subsidized housing for STEM and SpEd Teachers Residents — the majority of whom are BIPOC and who only make $15,000/year — so they only pay 30% of their income on rent. We work with apartment building owners to set aside units in their properties at reduced rates for the first year to house-eligible teachers. From there, with the support of our philanthropic partners, we provide further, deep subsidies to make the housing very affordable and to ensure that Teacher Residents are not rent-burdened. If the specific housing options do not work for teacher residents due to extenuating circumstances (such as having children), we provide monthly subsidies at the same rate to eligible teacher residents
  • $500/mo Guaranteed Income stipend every year for the next 4 years they stay teaching in OUSD to teachers who have graduated from their residency year


Teachers Rooted in Oakland: Impact to Date

In the first year of Teachers Rooted in Oakland pilot, we were already able to see impact:

  • 100% Increase in Teacher Residents from 7 to 15 in initial year
  • 360% increase in Teacher Residents of color from 3 to 11
  • 1320 more students with fully credentialed STEM and SpEd teachers


Status Quo
With the Support of our Donors
  • 75% of were housing burdened
  • <43% of the teacher residents were BIPOC. None were Black
  • Housing was the #1 reason cited for BIPOC teacher residents going elsewhere
  • 100% receive affordable housing and/or guaranteed income
  • 91% of first TRiO cohort are BIPOC
  • The pilot was a primary factor BIPOC teacher residents chose Oakland


CDF’s Role

CDF’s role has been to receive the funds, manage most aspects of the funding and disburse the allotments to the teachers or to the property; an expanded second school year (2021-22) is due to start shortly.  CDF also has been available to provide financial coaching to any of the eligible teachers and has provided several sessions on different topics to one of the teachers to date.  CDF also is involved in helping to set policy and help administer the overall program as well and, most recently, is involved in an effort to determine how to scale the program and find additional ways to create teacher housing in Oakland.

Our Donors:
  • Anonymous
  • The California Endowment
  • Hellman Foundation
  • Lisa Stone Pritzker Family Foundation


Media Highlights:


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