Public school teachers cannot live where they teach. This outdated banker figured out how to build them affordable housing
Dale Scott & Company is a 2021 Inc. Best in Business recipient. With the second annual Best in Business, Inc. award recognizes companies that have made an exceptional impact on their industries, communities, the environment and society as a whole.
Ah, San Francisco! Cradle of entrepreneurship from evolving startups, tech titans, venture capital gods – and a lapsed investment banker named Dale Scott, who made it his mission to help schools governments to get the financing they need. This is no small feat in a state with the world’s fifth-largest economy, where special laws and regulations make the approval of school obligations by voters particularly vexing.
âYou are trying to get funds to provide the best educational services possible,â says Scott. At the same time, school districts need to be aware of how this affects local taxpayers.
His eponymous company, Dale Scott & Company, has been interested in it for more than three decades. Scott chose to work with public schools so he could pursue his career in finance, but in a way that has allowed his business to be successful only when his clients have done so. For example, when the school bonds that DS&C is working on – sometimes for a year or more – don’t get voter approval, their business goes unpaid.
DS&C recently expanded its mandate in an effort to deal with soaring housing costs in California that has made it virtually impossible for some educators to afford to live in the communities where they teach. Working with the Jefferson Union High School District in San Mateo County, the company created the nation’s first voter-approved bond to build housing for teachers and staff at below market value. One of the least well-funded school districts in the Bay Area, Jefferson Union has an annual staff turnover rate of around 25 percent – the inevitable result of an inability to offer competitive salaries.
âIt’s very difficult to recruit teachers and staff with the current labor shortage,â Scott explains.
He would know. Not only did her company receive two patents for programs she designed to improve schools’ ability to raise funding, Scott literally wrote the book on school obligations as well. First published in 2013, Win-Win: An Insider’s Guide to School Bonds is widely used by school districts in California to demystify the process of developing and selling general bonds.
In San Mateo County, builders have already started building more than 120 rental units funded using the $ 33 million bond; they are expected to be completed by April 2022.
âStudents are significantly affected by staff turnover each year, which therefore has the potential to have a significant impact,â says Tina Van Raaphorst, Associate Superintendent of Business at the Jefferson Union High School District. “Dale’s company made this possible.”
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