We are keeping a close eye on Senate Bill 807, or the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act of 2017, which would help teachers in two ways.
One of the features in this bill is that it gives new teachers tax credits for money they spend to earn their teaching credentials, including college tuition and certification tests. The other thing this bill would do is allow exemption status (from paying state taxes on income earned from teaching) to full-time teachers who remain in the profession for more than 5 years.
The bill is co-sponsored by Senator Henry Stern (D-Agoura Hills) and co-sponsored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) who agree that it is important to address the critical need to retain teachers and to recruit teachers during this teacher shortage in California.
The bill has been received positively by most, as education leaders all over the state applauded the bill.
“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,” said Bill Lucia, president of the Sacramento-based lobbying and research organization EdVoice, which is pushing hard for passage.
In 2014-15, teacher preparation programs have suffered from a decline in enrollments — down 40% from 2010-11 and 73% from 2001-02.
Of course, we know that this means that schools with large numbers of low-income, students of color are disproportionately affected by turnover.
There are currently more than 155,000 students in California that are taught by “non-permanent” instructors. The teacher shortage is real.
It should be noted that the California Teacher’s Association (CTA) has yet to take a position on the bill, but according to a union spokesperson, CTA is in full agreement on the seriousness of the problem.
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