In Unanimous Vote, CA Senate Committee Passes Legislation to Invest in Teachers

EdVoice-Led Coalition Commends Legislators for Supporting SB 807

SACRAMENTO – EdVoice today commended all the members of the California Senate Governance and Finance Committee for passing SB 807, the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act of 2017. The bill passed the committee with a 6-0 bipartisan vote and now heads to the Senate Education Committee. Senators McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), Beall (D-San Jose), Hernandez (D-Azusa), Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) voted for the bill.

Introduced by Senator Henry Stern (D-Agoura Hills) and Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), SB 807 will help all school districts recruit new teachers through tax credits to be applied toward half of the costs for state-required training. The bill also addresses retention where shortages are greatest—in high-poverty public schools—by providing teachers immediate state income tax relief on half their income in their sixth through tenth school year.

Teachers who testified in front of the committee praised the legislators for investing in public education.

“The senators restored my faith that they truly value teachers, students and our state’s public schools,” said Kip Morales, a 12th grade AP language and composition teacher in L.A. Unified. “For over a decade, the state has taken away from teachers, through layoffs and de-funding critical programs. Today, we begin to reverse this trend with SB 807, which will directly support committed teachers.”

“It was great to see the senators put aside any partisan differences and come together unanimously to support education and to invest in teachers,” said Talin Darkjian, an eighth grade U.S. history teacher in L.A. Unified.  “This proposal sends a message that California is moving towards elevating the teaching profession and is dedicated to serving our students who need great teachers the most.”

According to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee analysis, the anticipated fiscal effect to the state is only $43 million in 2017-18, $35 million in 2018-19 and $43 million in 2019-20. These costs will be more than offset by anticipated savings to the state as a result of the legislation. In addition, the legislation specifies there will be no reduction to the state’s Proposition 98 guarantee.

“Today the Senate Governance and Finance Committee took a bold step toward addressing our teacher shortage by unanimously voting to invest in attracting and keeping great teachers,” said EdVoice President Bill Lucia.

“EdVoice commends Senator Stern and all the bill’s co-sponsors, and to the legislators who supported it, especially Chairman McGuire and Senator Jim Beall, who recognize the need for action on this issue and who helped focus the legislation on students in communities of greatest need,” said Lucia. “Teaching is California’s most important profession; we urge the Legislature to honor the value and impact of great classroom teachers on students and the entire State of California by enacting SB 807.”

SB 807 is also co-authored by Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Assemblymembers Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) and Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles).

About EdVoice

EdVoice is a nonprofit grassroots network of over 50,000 parents, community leaders, educators, and the state’s leading education philanthropists, working together to increase student achievement for all kids and be heard in the decision making process in Sacramento. Follow us on Twitter at @EdVoice.

Contact: Sarah Lillis

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