California has an education crisis. They can’t attract enough new teachers despite being one of the highest paid states for educators in the country.
State senate Democrats are looking for libertarian solutions to solve the problem, and have proposed the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act, a bill to eliminate income tax for teachers, reported US News and World Report.
A study of 211 school districts found that 75 percent reported having a shortage of qualified teachers especially with special and bilingual education, math, and science.
Eliminating income tax for teachers would result in a three to six percent increase in educator’s salaries depending on their seniority. It would cost the state $617.5 million annually in lost revenue.
“[The bill] addresses the immediate teacher shortage and sends a loud and clear message across the state and nation: California values teachers,” said state Sen. Henry Stern, a Democrat who co-sponsored the proposal. “We will help train you and we want you to stay in the classroom.”
Passing the bill may be difficult given that California is suffering from a $1.6 billion budget deficit.
It speaks volumes however that California Democrats are turning to Milton Friedman for solutions to help save one of the most progressive states in the country.