INDIANAPOLIS — School districts across Indiana are trying to find ways to keep educators from leaving the field. A non-profit organization believes the answer starts at home.
The Educate Me Foundation launched its Teacherville initiative last year, which assists Black educators looking to buy a house with down payment and closing costs.
"The biggest reason teachers are leaving the classroom outside of culture is teacher pay," said Educate Me CEO Blake Nathan. "We can't dictate what a teacher makes in a school district or charter school network, but we can try and lower the cost of living for an educator."
The organization helped develop a literal Teacherville in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood, where several affordable townhomes are being constructed for educators.
"Two to three years down the line, we can talk to educators who bought their first home and see if they're still in the field of education," Nathan said.
Crystal Jackson, a special education teacher at Tindley Genesis Academy, used Teacherville's services to help buy her first home in November.
"I said a prayer and thanked God for it," Jackson said.
She worried her goal of homeownership would not have been possible without the organization.
"The financial part of it was just really hard to keep going and stay motivated, it just seemed like it couldn't happen," Jackson said. "When people take time to acknowledge the needs of teachers, it's a good thing."
You can learn more about Teacherville at this link.