Bill calls for eliminating state income tax for California teachers

March 14, 2017

In response to a statewide teacher shortage, a pair of California senators have introduced a bill that would exempt educators from paying state income tax after five years on the job. [Sac Bee]

California is struggling to recruit and retain teachers as baby boomers retire, and low starting salaries do little to attract young people to the teaching profession. As a result of the shortage, the state has hired thousands of teachers without full credentials by issuing temporary permits, waivers or intern credentials.

Senators Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles) and Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) responded to the issue by introducing Senate Bill 807. In addition to exempting educators from state income tax after five years, the bill would also allow teachers to receive a tax deduction for the cost of obtaining a teaching credential.

“The teaching profession is critical to California’s economic success and impacts every vocation and profession in the state,” Stern said in a statement. “SB 807 addresses the immediate teacher shortage and sends a loud and clear message across the sate and nation: California values teachers.”

Legislative analysts have yet to calculate the estimated loss in tax revenue that the bill would create.

The California Teachers Association says nearly one in three teachers leaves the profession in the first seven years of work. The teachers union is expected to take a position on the bill at its upcoming council meeting.

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This and many other sources indicate teachers are pretty well paid, and full career teachers retires at 105% of final salary


Teachers were indeed underpaid when I was a child in the 50’s and 60’s, not now. This myth of low salaries has been perpetuated for too long.

Stupid stupid stupid, if you exempt one class of people from tax eventually you will exempt another and another and another. Just like giving people free stuff, you keep finding more and more and free stuff for people, like the mistaken belief that health insurance is a inalienable right and of course it must be free.

I think that it would be a good idea to have all teacher be required to take a simple course in economics. I have associated with many teachers and I’m always shocked when I hear them say that when they reach retirement age that they can’t afford it. Even with their retirements they have over extended themselves. Most have never made any attempt to save a penny during their careers and during their 2-3 month vacation would spend all of their money vacationing. Granted teachers are not paid sufficiently for the job that we would like done. But at the same time they do need to take some responsibility for sacrificing some things in life and plan for their future retirement. I think teachers should be required to be counseled upon their hiring and during their careers with how to plan for their future financial conditions. It’s not my responsibility for disbursing my retirement funds and reduce my quality of life after working towards my retirement to support those self proclaimed individual who missed the boat about planning for their future.

Well, I know my city manager here in Atascadero makes 160k a year, and Atascadero is not doing to hot, aside from natural aesthetics, its a shit hole and has been, she only has a B.A. Do you know how much a teacher makes? Way less. Atown P.D. starts out pay at 60k plus a year, a bit steep huh? Why not go after over paid politicians “Debbie Arnold”, with under qualified education “Debbie Arnold”, rather than bag on teachers whom essentially raise peoples kids in a manner they are unfit to do or just don’t give a sh*t? Like your kids potentially, if you have any? Your statement is really broad and generalized, being published as some sort of “alt fact”.

Yes, because pointing out other bad behavior justifies the original bad behavior.

Across all career disciplines, ages, races, geographical location, etc. you will find people who live for instant gratification and don’t plan for the future.

no shit, do you think all teachers are a bunch of alcoholic meth addicts? Having a M.A to be a teacher is hard to do while being a drunken tweaker. Come on, pay for what they are worth! Local cops need 6 months academy to justify murder for 60-70k a year with pensions and retirement to match. A fking joke! Sad!

If I thought they would pay attention and apply the lessons, I would like to see ALL high school graduates required to take a graded class in “life skills/” Economics and budgeting would be the biggest element but things like time management, basic home and vehicle maintenance, basic cooking, filling out applications and many other items need to be taught to a large number of kids who are apparently not getting the lessons taught at home.

Don’t know about this but politicians certainly haven’t made teaching attractive. That and the self-entitled prix today.

People used to want to teach because they loved it, that’s long gone.

Aggggreeed. Politicians giving pay raises for what should be a pro bono job. They shouldn’t be treated like some run of the mill state worker, they make civilization spin right round baby. We need to dock city planners, mayors, fire chiefs, police chiefs pay etc etc before ever spouting off at teachers. Oh, what about the slo superintendent whom makes what, 200k?

Teachers should not be treated like*

Just to let you know, when you point out that other over-paid public officials need to be examined, you’re only emphasizing the original assumption that teachers are over-paid. Yes, the SLO City Manager is WAY over-paid and a miserable under-performer. How does that change anything regarding teacher salaries and taxation?

How about this: instead of saying “Look at them INSTEAD” try “Let’s ALSO look at them” because we can analyze more than one over-paid public profession at a time. It’s really easy.

I am not dodging the original fact, and quit assuming i am. Teachers are underpaid statistically in areas where they should be overpaid. Teachers are the backbone to a mature civilization. What would science be without teachers promoting it? Do you know the Dean of Poly makes roughly 200k while a professor makes 70k with at least a M.A. degree while local cops with six months training make the same? common friggin sense here. California has always dealt with lack of funding for public schools. I remember teachers harboring stinking chalk pencils for that exact under financed reason!!! Jesus Christo! My teachers were my saviors from my terrible family life and lack of decent parental figures.

Fair and equal treatment, if teachers don’t have to pay State Taxes then I won’t either.

Yet ANOTHER unfunded mandate..will California ever learn?

Obviously not!

If California teachers not paying state income tax is cutting into your bottom line you obviously did plan well enough. Maybe it’s time to go back to work?

LAFIreman; have you ever heard the potential problem of “assume”? Well your post certainly makes an a** out of you. I have made Great choices, as it happens. As a matter of fact I was self employed; quite successfully even, and am now retired living on my own self created retirement plan. Never took a dime from taxpayers and never wanted one. Worked hard and honestly and created my own rewards.

When the unfounded pensions chase all you State entitled retirees to have to wrk longer and harder I won’t feel sorry for you.

I have the utmost respect for teachers, but underpaid they are not. At all. The average full time teacher in California makes over $84,000 a year for around 9 months of work, or over $2,300 per week. My experience has been that money is not the reason for high turnover, it’s the culture and conditions of a broken system, for which I offer no solutions.

I’ve got a solution. Stop changing the curriculum every few years. No wonder the teachers only last 5 to 7 years. Just when the teacher has gotten into the groove, some idiot comes along and decides that the current system of teaching isn’t working and they need to revamp education. Changing to Common Core drove a lot of teachers away.