TOSA (Teachers on Special Assignment) English Language Development teacher Christina Marinelli, left, speaks to a class of teachers at the Saugus Union School District office in Valencia on Feb. 17. Dan Watson/The Signal
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In light of the increasing teacher shortage in California, Senators Henry Stern and Cathleen Galgiani announced the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act.

If passed, Senate Bill 807 would eliminate all state income tax for teachers who stay in the classroom for more than five years, as well as provide tax credits to cover training costs and teaching credentials for new teachers.

“Teachers are the original job creators,” Stern said in a statement. “The teaching profession is critical to California’s economic success and impacts every vocation and profession in the state.”

The senate bill aims to tell teachers they are valued in California by training them and keeping them in classrooms, Stern said. In addition to encouraging people to go into teaching, the bill aims to encourage veteran teachers, former teachers and out-of-state teachers to get into California classrooms.

As nearly one-third of teachers leave the profession every five years and baby boomer teachers retire, the shortage continues to increase, the statement read. Additionally, teachers are currently retiring at five times the rate of fire fighters and police officers.

“I think the greatest economic stimulus we could have in the state of California is to invest in teachers in our classrooms,” Stern said. “We’re trying to kick off the conversation and at least say, ‘here’s what’s possible.’”

Stern said his teachers are the reason he became a lawyer and a state senator. A teacher who cast Stern in a school play in kindergarten built his self-esteem, a teacher in 8th grade taught him about the constitution, empathy and injustice and a high school U.S. history teacher taught him the fundamentals of the country.

“I owe everything to those people and I know not enough people value that profession,” he said.

According to the statement, three-fourths of schools in California reported having difficulty recruiting teachers.

EdVoice, a nonprofit organization that works to improve student achievement and eliminate educational inequality, announced their sponsorship of the bill.

As said by EdVoice President Bill Lucia, the teacher shortage affects students in high-need and high-poverty communities most, creating a larger achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their peers.

“It’s time California leads the nation and sends a clear message to all current and future teachers: You are valued and California will reward your commitment to California’s kids and future,” Lucia said in a statement.

To sign a petition to support the senate bill or to receive more information, visit EdVoice’s website on SB 807, investinteachers.org.

Senate Bill 807 is also co-authored by Assembly members Monique Limón and Miguel Santiago.

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Gina Ender
Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017.
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  • Gary Bierend

    ““Teachers are the original job creators,” Stern said in a statement.”

    Nonsense.

    They must have realized that if they try to up their pay there will be a revolt. Unfortunately, since there’s a democrat majority, expect people earning 100K getting a pass on state tax.

    Unbelievable.

  • James Lacy

    This law is of course highly unconstitutional as a violation of equal protection of laws of all the non-teachers in California. Progressive taxes that offer lower rates to poorer people have been found constitutional. But laws that bestow special benefits to some people but not all, based on status, like being a teacher, are not. And what happens next? If teachers shouldn’t pay taxes, why should veterans? This article would have been better served by the reporter using some “critical thinking” as advocated in Common Core, and trying to find an informed opposing opinion.

    • Gary Bierend

      I’m sure if the authors of this bill felt that veterans would, (a) be a reliable voting bloc, or (b) help indoctrinate young voters to vote democrat, then they would have tried to get that through too. I suspect if they get this through, their next step will be to try and extend it to all civil service “heroes”.

  • Bob Brock

    Should the reporter really be promoting this Senator’s bill by asking her readers to sign up and support the bill by logging on to the website? Did she consider contacting a taxpayer advocacy group like Howard Jarvis to get a differing opinion on this issue?

  • There is no end to the progressives’ redistribution efforts. They constantly seek to redistribute income from the productive people to the low/no production people. They endlessly labor to take more from the private sector workers to give to the “public servants.” In the latter case, it’s classic elitist thinking — paralleling the aristocracy’s privileged status of times past.

    Moreover, the teacher shortage can largely be fixed by revamping the DE FACTO “restraint of trade” edu-babble requirements in CA for getting certified as a teacher. My wife has extensive experience (30+ years) as both as a classroom mentor teacher and an instructor in the graduate “teacher school” certification system, and has become appalled at the silly, demeaning, useless, ever-increasing and teacher-discouraging plethora of crap they must endure in grad school — 90% of which is useless in the classroom. All it accomplishes is to exacerbate the supposed “teacher shortage.”

    • Sam Brosenberg

      Yeah. It’s absolutely ridiculous that schools have a minimum standard of educational achievement or academic qualifications for potential teachers that they hire. They should just let any schmuck off the street who wants to teach your kids do it, right?

      • Seems your education didn’t include logic. To oppose the excessive, irrelevant requirements of becoming a CA teacher does not mean one opposes standards.

        I’m not calling for zero standards — not even close. But the other states provide quality teachers (with standards) with far fewer impediments to qualifying. And their classroom results are superior to our edu-babble qualified California teachers can produce.

        CA’s teacher “standards” discourage people from becoming teachers, unlike other states. Then after two years on the job, teachers no longer have to meet PERFORMANCE standards to continue receiving a paycheck. Which I’m sure you think is a GREAT idea!

  • Fieldkorn

    No free lunch money. Someone else will pick up the tax slack. Like maybe the parents of the kids the teachers are instructing.

  • MoFoJones

    Sounds like a great idea! I have an MBA and think I will apply the day this bill goes into effect. Maybe I can get some of that fat pension money they are stashing away for all these educational clowns. You know the old saying, “Those that can’t, teach!”