Metro's newest plan to help with the high cost of living and low teacher pay is getting push back from teachers.

The proposal includes turning the 11-acre property in South Nashville currently used to store and repair school buses into affordable housing for teachers. The city wants to trade it, meaning a developer could build on the land in exchange for other land where the district can build a new bus barn. 

“A lot of us have families.  A lot of us have advanced degrees. We don’t want public housing, we want a professional salary," said Amanda Kail, who teaches at Margaret Allen Middle School. "If you have to public housing for teachers then there is something seriously wrong with our city.”

Kail would not be interested in moving to affordable housing and says other teachers she talked with feel the same way. 

“I think that it’s really important to remember that there is money in this town and we could fund the schools if we really wanted to," said Kail. “How many things politicians will do besides fully fund out schools.”

Metro says this idea is in the very early stages and is still working out all the details. Mayor Briley supports the plan. 

“We don’t think this is the only thing we need to do for teachers and staff. We’re at the same time having this conversation... we’re talking about teacher and staff pay raises, enhanced benefits in the future," said Metro Schools Board member Will Pinkston. 

Metro hasn't decided whether the homes would be for rent or up for sale or exactly who would qualify. 

“It may not be feasible but we think it might be and even if it just might be then it’s worth pursuing," said Pinkston. 

In the next few weeks, metro plans to reach out to developers to see if anyone is interested in making the swap. 

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Kim St. Onge joined the News4 team as a reporter in January 2017.

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