Anger at community meeting over teacher housing idea in San Jose's Almaden Valley

Thursday, October 4, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

Hundreds attended a community meeting in San Jose's Almaden Valley which quickly got heated.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds attended a community meeting in San Jose's Almaden Valley, which quickly got heated. Many residents voiced frustration over an idea to turn two campuses into teacher housing. It's just an idea at this point, but even that had residents fuming.

The tone was set early on -- residents shouting, talking out of turn and interrupting. Leaders of the San Jose Unified School District scheduled the meeting to clarify information about two Almaden Valley schools.

RELATED: Opposition to teacher housing mounts in SJ's Almaden Valley

Their idea is to build a brand new Leland High School and Bret Harte Middle School down the road and turn the current sites into teacher housing. The idea has generated plenty of concerns.

"Not that the teachers are a concern. It's just more that this area would not really be a community-looking area anymore," said Kim Hoppe, a resident of Almaden Valley for 22 years.

The idea is just one of several the district came up with in an effort to alleviate the affordability crisis facing many of its teachers, but many residents came hoping to put an end to even exploring the possibility.

"It's not a good idea for this area," said Greg Braley of Almaden Valley.

RELATED: Silicon Valley seeks solutions for affordable teacher housing

Teachers we talked with were taken aback by the fierce opposition.

They believe teachers living in the communities where they teach is a good thing.

"People being upset by that is hurtful. We are really nice neighbors if you've ever met a teacher," said Kristen Bernhardt, a fourth grade teacher with the San Jose Unified School District.

District leaders say despite the high emotions, they're not giving up.

"So we're definitely going to keep analyzing all of our options. That is our responsibility as public servants to do right by the citizens. There's a lot of voices in this community. We want to make sure we hear from as many of them as we can," said Deputy Superintendent Stephen McMahon.