Bill Aims to Tackle California's Teacher Shortage | NBC Southern California

Bill Aims to Tackle California's Teacher Shortage

Senate Bill 807, which is being called the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act of 2017, would exempt teachers from paying state taxes after five years in the classroom.

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    A steady paycheck, but with no state income tax taken out. It's what two senators would like to offer California teachers to stay. Peggy Bunker reports.

    (Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017)

    A new bill is aimed at tackling California's teacher shortage.

    Senate Bill 807, which is being called the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act of 2017, would exempt teachers from paying state taxes after five years in the classroom.

    "I know some people personally that have had to leave the profession or move cities because of just how much it costs to live here," said Benji Coleman-Levy, a math teacher.

    The average annual salary for a California teacher is around $59,000. Supporter said the tax break proposed in the bill would be equivalent to a 4 to 6 percent raise.

    The goal of the bill is to keep teachers in California. Teacher retirement systems said educators in the state are leaving 50 percent faster than any other public job.

    Greg Markwith, principal at Academy SF at McCateer, said the teacher tax-break would make a huge difference.

    "I think it would change their lives dramatically," Markwith said. "I'd be really happy to see that happen."

    SB 807 is being co-sponsored by Senators Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, and Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park, who say teachers are critical to California's success.