Delaware education leaders hope a new housing incentive will encourage teachers at the top of their game to bring their skills to high-need classrooms.
Delaware Dept. of Education is partnering with the Delaware State Housing Authority to offer reduced interest rates on mortgages for Delaware Talent Cooperative teachers. DOE says the teachers in this group have committed to work in schools with a significant proportion of disadvantaged students.
The incentive offers qualified Co-op members a 0.5 percent reduction off DSHA’s current mortgage interest rate on a new loan. If the mortgage interest rate is 4.25 percent, the discount brings it down to 3.75 percent. So for an average buyer purchasing a $200,000 home with a 30-year fixed interest mortgage, DSHA says the lower rate can save more than $700 each year amounting to more than $21,000 over the life of the loan.
“Affordable housing is always a key component in recruitment and retention of talented individuals in any field,” said Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del. “We are excited to help give our best educators the opportunity to buy homes, put down roots and stay here in Delaware to continue their careers.”
“DSHA is really proud that we have the internal operating capacity and resources available to make this interest rate reduction available to support the governor’s and Dept. of Education’s initiative,” DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi said.
Delaware Talent Cooperative
DOE has been offering financial incentives through its federal Race to the Top grant for teachers to participate in the Co-op, which is now in its second year. In its inaugural year, the DOE offered its initial 28 members $10,000 each in exchange for a commitment to teach in their schools for two more years. Now the Co-op boasts 168 teachers.
“This program is for current Delaware teachers only so its to retain and attract teachers within Delaware,” said DOE spokeswoman Allison May. “So you might be a top performing teacher whose working in a non-high-needs school, so the incentive is for them to come work in one of the high needs schools and bring their talents there.”
“We are proud that through this partnership we can offer another incentive to keep these top educators working in some of our highest-need schools,” Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. “Their talents and hard work are making a difference for children across our state, and we are grateful for this opportunity to support them.”
State education leaders and members of the Co-op are meeting tonight at Dover High School to talk shop and answer questions about the initiative.