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Column: About to Become Teachers, They’re Worried About Affording the Rent



Photo of teacher going over a worksheet
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“So what we’re going to do now is label our triangles,” student teacher Keiri Ramirez told her class at Northridge Academy High School. “A prime, B prime and C prime.”
Ramirez, inspired by her middle-school teacher in Huntington Park, is about to graduate from Cal State Northridge and become a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where the starting salary is about $53,000. She’s a natural in class, with a big easy smile and lots of encouraging words as she leads 23 students through a drill on triangle dilation.
But Ramirez, 23, knows what lies ahead in a region where housing costs have soared while wages for teachers have been pretty flat. When she got her math degree a year ago before starting on a teaching track, she thought about angling for a job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and she thought about moving to a less-expensive area.
But L.A. is home and she loves teaching, so she’s going to make it work. At the moment she shares a two-bedroom apartment with three roommates, two of whom are going into teaching along with her.
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