In California, we have been hard at work supporting the “Invest In Teachers Act,” SB 807, which offers a tax incentive to veteran teachers who stay in the classroom. After initial feedback, the authors continue to revise the bill and it will go before the California Senate Finance and Governance Committee in late April. We’ll be there. Will you join us in Sacramento? If your schedule doesn’t allow you to travel, then please sign here to support to the teachers in California.
We hope you agree that teachers should be the people we listen to on this issue. One of our board members, Laney Baciocco, who teaches in San Francisco, wrote to us, reflecting on what the passage of SB 807 would mean for her:
"My job barely covers basic living expenses, let alone student loans, so I bartend on weekends, teach after school, and run a summer school program. With the tax break proposed by SB 807, I could take off one Saturday a month and pretend I have a normal job for that weekend. Just one day. Per month.
I know, everyone works hard, and, of course, people should be appreciated and applauded for the work they do. Yet, is your doctor bartending on the weekend to make ends meet? Is your mechanic also driving for Uber or Lyft? Does your dentist need to complete dentistry tutoring after a full day’s work? We all know the answer is probably no.
Generally speaking, doctors and dentists do not need to take side jobs to make ends meet because they are compensated at a professional rate. What will it take for teachers to be recognized in the same way? I was San Francisco’s Teacher of the Year last year, I am a candidate for National Board certification, and I work constantly to improve my craft as a teacher. I am a professional, too, but I’m not paid like one.
It’s true that we chose our professions, fully aware of what our salaries would be. But we chose them also because we care about the work we do and see the social value in it. We educate your kids whether you support us or not, and we’re proud to do it. So, for a minute, ask yourself this question: How many teachers have to leave the profession before we pay them what our students are worth?"
-Laney Baciocco, San Francisco Teacher of the Year 2016