Hot new idea out of California: maybe teachers shouldn’t have to pay state income taxes

From:,  by Jazz Shaw,  on Mar 14, 2017

The public school system remains fraught with problems, including the difficulties encountered in finding and retaining high quality talent to work as teachers. This issue is as true in California as across the rest of the nation and the state government is hard at work seeking to address it. But this latest brainstorm appears to have more than a few problems of its own. State legislators have cooked up a plan whereby teachers who work in the public sector for a certain period of time would become exempt from paying state income taxes. (Sacramento Bee)

A California Senate bill proposes a new way to solve the teacher shortage: Let them keep their state income tax.

California is struggling to recruit and retain teachers as baby boomers retire and meager starting salaries do little to attract young people to the profession. Making matters worse, nearly one in three teachers leave the profession in the first seven years, according to the California Teachers Association.

Senate Bill 807, introduced by Democratic Sens. Henry Stern of Los Angeles and Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton, offers an incentive for teachers to remain in the classroom. After teaching for five years, California educators would be exempt from paying a state income tax.

Nobody is denying that teachers play a critical role in our society, but the long held belief that teachers are vastly underpaid needs to be re-examined. This was certainly true back in the 70s when I was growing up, but there have been reforms underway for quite some time. It’s also impossible to underestimate the power and influence that the nation’s teachers unions have with Democrats and the deals they have managed to work out with the government have gone a tremendous ways toward addressing former inequities.

Since we’re talking about California in particular, let’s take a look at just how much teachers are getting paid these days with data provided from the California Department of Education.

Even teachers at the smallest schools in California are generally getting nearly $44,000 per year to start. By the time they achieve tenure they are making closer to $60,000. Let’s compare that to the national median individual income as listed by the Census Bureau. It falls just a bit above the $50,000 per year mark. Precisely how much “incentive” do people need to take these jobs? When you can walk in the door and begin earning more than roughly half the people in the country (and we’re talking about a job at the K – 12 level which does not require a doctorate) I’d say you’re not doing all that badly, particularly when you take into account the fact that one quarter of the year is comprised of summer vacation where your workload is quite light if you are working at all.

Still, if the people of California via their elected representatives want to toss more goodies to the teachers in public schools I suppose that’s up to them. But where does it stop? If you take an entire class of people based on their occupation and say that they are somehow “more deserving” than everyone else and should be exempted from paying state income taxes, what other groups might qualify? It’s not hard to imagine quite a few of these “deserving” professions being rather quick to have their hands out. At this point the state hasn’t even calculated what sort of a hit their budget will take from losing all of that revenue. But don’t worry. I’m sure they can just jack up the taxes yet again on everyone else when they realize that their budget is coming up short.


Yesterday, I posted an article about New York’s hairbrained idea to improve education (allow less-qualified individuals to teach) and today I find that California is up to a similar sort of scheme to improve their education system. In this case, after meeting some unnamed criteria, teachers would become exempt from state income taxes. It might be interesting to note that the people behind this idea haven’t even chosen to calculate how much it would cost the state in loss of tax income. It might also be interesting to note that California’s education system is currently ranked 40th in the nation – not so good, huh? I can only surmise that the idiots who are proposing this scheme are products of that awful school system.




Categories: Political


10 replies

  1. Here’s a sampling of the REAL reasons that teachers are leaving the profession:

    “According to a 2009 study by researchers at Durham University into recruitment and retention in teaching, the top reasons given for leaving are stress, excessive workload, bureaucracy and behaviour issues.”

    “One of the big reasons I quit was sort of intangible,” Ingersoll says. “But it’s very real: It’s just a lack of respect,” he says. “Teachers in schools do not call the shots. They have very little say. They’re told what to do; it’s a very disempowered line of work.”

    “Overwhelming paperwork is another reason teachers are leaving … but the problem is not just the grading. It is the detailed documentation of how the student was accommodated…the documentation of parent phone calls, behavior reports, and student teacher conferences…the department meetings and analysis of data and the teacher evaluations and professional growth plans. Our time during school hours is spent filling out paperwork and documenting our attempts to make us better teachers…”

    “With changes in curriculum, many teachers are studying material days ahead of their students and trying to figure out how to teach it the night before.”

    “The second reason why I believe teachers are leaving the profession has to do with the lack of morals and discipline that some students receive at home, and the inability to do much about it in the classroom. This generation is the most fatherless, divorced, and neglected generations in the history of America, and it is noticed in the classroom.”

    “They leave because it is impossible to teach students, comply with a daunting load of state and local mandates and at the same time step into a parenting role. It cannot be done. Unmanageable student behavior is overwhelming. … It’s hard to think on your feet, even after years of training, when someone is throwing a chair across the classroom.”

    “Teachers leave not because they cannot teach, but because they are not allowed to. The testing and the pressure to get the students ready to do well on the tests leaves little time for real teaching and learning. In many districts across the country, student test scores are used to evaluate teachers without any solid evidence that the tests are valid indicators of real learning. Teachers leave because they are weary of a new curriculum or program every year, which is always touted as “research based” but upon further scrutiny, the research is elusive, flawed or just non-existent. Teachers leave because they are given too many other jobs to do and too many meetings to attend that do not address the true root causes of poor student achievement. Teachers leave because their leaders often have not had to teach under the current conditions — or have actually never spent any time at all teaching in a classroom.”

    Of course teachers feel underpaid when they have to put up with all that crap, but what about just getting rid of the crap instead of seeking out people who will tolerate the crap for more money? What we have is a classic case of liberals creating the very problem that they are now trying to resolve by throwing more taxpayer money at it (their universal fix-all for every problem they create). Liberals have been running the schools for some 50 years or more now. THEY are the ones responsible for the conditions that drive teachers away:

    Liberal policies destroyed the American family that’s led neglected and poorly behaved children in our schools.

    Liberal policies tie teachers’ hands when it comes to disciplining or removing unruly students.

    Liberal policies turn schools into bureaucratic nightmares for teachers with one-size fits all directives from on high.

    It is liberal administrators who insist on endless hours of meetings and paperwork.

    Why should taxpayers have to come up with yet more money to attract teachers when liberal policies drive them away? GET THE LIBERALS OUT OF THE SCHOOLS AND OFF OF THE SCHOOLBOARDS. Then we’ll see what it really costs to attract and retain good teachers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The reality is that teachers take home more pay than is actually reflected in that chart. That’s the BASE pay scale, and doesn’t factor in O/T, advanced credential bonuses, or other elements that are added to the base pay.

    Further, as Craw pointed out, they get 3 months of paid vacation every year… UNLESS they want to work in summer programs, in which case THAT’S additional take-home pay, too.

    Then think about what waving state taxes for teachers would also encompass. Other income normally taxable, like rental income, or investment income, or summer job income, etc.

    Yep, this is a great state to live in, except that it’s run by out and out lunatics…

    Liked by 2 people

    • My sympathies, Brian. You’ve got some real loons running the show out there and judging by the left-o-loons further north in Seattle, it must be a West Coast thing and not limited to CA. My sister was a teacher and the only thing that I have sympathy for is that they can no longer discipline students and have lost control of the classroom, not an environment that I would do well in.


  3. This idea had to come from the Dems who are notorious for giving stuff away that isn’t theirs to give and doing it at other people’s expense. They didn’t see what kind of hit the state budget would take and they didn’t see if this scheme would be enough to draw in more teachers.

    A better idea would be to get rid of the useless teachers’ union who don’t appear to be doing their job and the dues money they’d save would offset at least some of those state taxes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doesn’t this appear to be a constant theme? To the left, being successful at one’s job isn’t a criterion for promotion or monetary reward, being UNsuccessful seems to be more popular with them than being good at your job. I still can’t get past the CA school system being 40th in the nation, and they want to reward them by making them tax-free? It makes no sense at all.


  4. What a bunch of whiners!! Their STARTING salary is higher than what I make annually, and I don’t take 3 months off for summer, get EVERY holiday off, get two weeks off for Christmas, a week off in the spring just because, 6-10 “teacher inservice” days, AND vacation days.

    If anybody should be tax free, it should be military, police, and firefighters, including their pensions!


    • Totally agree, Craw. If they were doing a better job of educating the students, I might be more open to the idea, but CA’s school system is 40th in the nation and that doesn’t indicate that they’re doing such a good job. I also agree that IF any group could justify being tax-free, our first responders and military are the ones who sacrificed much and are woefully underpaid.


  5. I can see Law Suits coming up from other occupations demanding tax exempt status because the teachers have it.
    Only liberals can think of reasons to screwup over and over again
    Ca is in the hole billions of dollars and they want this? Gee I wonder what happens when they realize more budget shiportfalls


    • I expect you’re right and certainly there are other occupations that deserve it more than teachers, especially those in California. The liberal left in CA is simply stuck on stupid, we hear precious little coming out of their legislative and governor offices that make good sense, it’s all just “feel good” proposals without any economic justification or real-world benefits.

      Liked by 1 person

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