School districts received another fatal blow. Beijing to implement a “teacher rotation” policy in September

China’s Sina Finance reported that the Beijing Municipal Government announced that after school starts in September this year, all Beijing districts will carry out the exchange and rotation of teachers. They considere this policy is a measure to combat rising housing prices in school districts and promote a balance of educational resources.

According to NetEase, in the past, supposedly famous schools often attracted good teachers and children from well-off families. Hence, dormitories and real estate around the school were often very expensive. According to the Chinese media’s explanation, teacher rotation means that teachers go to different places periodically, not “invite each other” to famous schools, and qualified teachers will also teach regular students. According to authorities, it helps narrow the quality gap between schools, and all of them will be equally good. 

Moreover, when the “halo” of famous schools decreases, students no longer flock there, and surrounding real estate prices will drop. It will reduce the financial burden for parents, and they can let their children study at schools close to their homes. In the same way, students will have an equal right to receive an equal quality of education and “compete from the same starting line.”

In addition, it will also bring excellent teachers and courses to disadvantaged schools and regions through exchange classes between schools, groups, and even regions to balance educational resources.

Desheng School District is located in the Jindeyue area, the “top school district” in Xicheng, Beijing. House prices in this area rose to 200,000 yuan per square meter at the hottest time. In July 2021, there was information about teacher rotation. After the enrollment results were announced, the number of housing transactions and prices in this area dropped sharply, and contract cancellations and discounts emerged. Since then, the transaction number in the Desheng area has fluctuated at a low level, showing recovery signs but generally still at a decent level.

Teacher rotation in Beijing is not new. On August 25, 2021, the Education Committee of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee said that in the new semester, Beijing would promote the exchange and rotation of cadres and teachers in a large area and accounted for the most significant proportion of the two pilot areas, Dongcheng and Miyun. In April 2022, after Dongcheng and Miyun first piloted the exchange and rotation of primary and junior high school teachers and cadres, six districts joined with nearly 10,000 elementary and middle school teachers in the city.

In addition to Beijing, many cities such as Shenzhen, Shanghai, Jinan, and Kaifeng will also launch the job rotation system. Shenzhen will officially implement the “Regulation on Social Construction of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone” from August this year, which clearly stipulates that the school district’s enrollment model will be implemented, and a reasonable system of exchange and rotation of principals and teachers will be established.

The school district system will form the central school district with three to four surrounding schools and conduct enrollment of students in the surrounding area. This policy is equivalent to that within the same school district, and students may be assigned to a prestigious or regular school.

On April 30, 2020, the Beijing Xicheng District Education Commission issued the “Implemented Opinion on the Enrollment of Compulsory Education in Xicheng District in 2020”, which clearly states that children of school age who purchased a house in the Xicheng District and obtained a home property certificate after July 31, 2020, when applying for admission to an elementary school, will not be able to enroll in the school of choice. Still, all students will be enrolled in the district on a non-selective, multi-school zoning method.

According to Newtalk, some analysts believe that housing prices in major school districts will fall under this type of reform. However, China’s school districts are divided into “multi-school zoning” and “single-school zoning.” The former refers to a community that corresponds to many schools; the latter, on the contrary, refers to a field corresponding to a fixed area.

Judging by the market’s response to housing in the school sector, the most significant impact is “single-school zoning.” Therefore, many Beijing real estate agents think that implementing a city-wide rotation system in Beijing will not have much impact, and they are more concerned about “multi-school zoning.” 

After these brutal interventions, major school districts in Shenzhen were “smashed” as property prices plummeted.

Times Finance said that, according to the monitoring of Leyoujia Research Center, since September 2021, the listing and transaction prices of the six famous school districts’ owners have decreased significantly, with the largest transaction reduction up to 21%.

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