2017-04-28 / Letters

Likes senator’s proposal

An Acorn editorial recently noted, “the value of an educator is priceless.” California’s future indeed depends great teachers. However, it missed the mark on statewide teacher shortages, and happenings in our back yard, literally.

As a parent of two children who attended Moorpark schools, I was shocked to find the PTA chipping in to fund salaries of the art teacher in my kids’ school. And the teachers and parents were regularly covering supplies.

Apparently we have it better than others. A recent state report found over 6,100 teachers on emergency permits. That’s 150,000 kids without trained teachers all day. I wouldn’t want to be a parent of children in school without trained teachers.

Sacramento uses tax policy to keep film production, to get cleaner air with hybrid vehicles, and for home ownership with interest deduction.

I applaud Sen. Stern for SB 807 and tackling statewide issues to make our state better. Shortages result in increased administrative recruiting and training costs, and turnover lowers student achievement.

As for general welfare, if a child doesn’t have a great teacher, we’ll all be paying more for welfare and higher rates of incarceration. I’d rather give teachers tax relief today and save millions of dollars in administration and welfare later.

You might argue that the state education system could use funding in different areas than teacher’s salaries, but once people are taxed and monies are in the general fund, today’s era of shuffling budgets will all but ensure even ear tagged funds will be siphoned away to support the “special interest du jour.” I have little confidence sufficient funds will otherwise be allocated to seriously address the growing shortage.

SB807 is a refreshingly simple way of infusing monies into incentives for teachers via not taking it in the first place.

It’s a fact, schools statewide are having difficulty filling positions. If we can alleviate financial barriers to enter teaching and keep great teachers using tax policy, then we should do so.

I encourage the Senate to strike the right balance and get it done.

Sean Cooper

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