The Phaserl



by Lily Dane, The Daily Sheeple:

California is facing a teacher shortage, and a state Senate bill to “combat the problem” has been introduced.

Senate Bill 807, introduced by Democratic Senators Henry Stern of Los Angeles and Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton, aims to help teachers in two ways, reports the Los Angeles Times:

First, it would give new teachers tax credits for the money they spent to earn full teaching credentials. The credits would cover such costs as college tuition and certification tests. These expenses could be recouped entirely over five years.

Second, it would exempt teachers who remain in the profession more than five years from paying state taxes on income earned from teaching. The effect would be equivalent to a 4% to 6% salary increase, according to backers.

Teachers who earn a $75,000 salary would gain the equivalent of a 5 percent raise, saving nearly $4,000 on their annual tax bill after they meet the five year requirement.

If the bill is passed into law, teachers who remain in the profession for more than five years will be exempt from paying state income tax for 10 years.

About 300,000 teachers would benefit from the cut in the first year, and the tax breaks would cost around $617 million in state revenue annually for the 10 years they would be in effect. That’s about 0.5% of the $123 billion state budget, SF Gate reports.

One-third of all California teachers are older than 50, and turnover among young teachers remains high – the California Teachers Association claims that about a third of the state’s teachers leave the job within the first seven years.

In addition, fewer are entering the profession, according to data from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In the 2014-15 school year, enrollments in teacher preparation programs dropped to 20,881 — down 40% from 2010-11 and 73% from 2001-02, according to the LA Times.

Statewide, 75 percent of districts reported a shortage of teachers this school year, including 80 percent of urban districts and 69 percent of schools in the suburbs, according to a poll conducted by the California School Boards Association and the Learning Policy Institute, an education research nonprofit group.

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