To the editor: As a high school English teacher with 10 years of experience in the classroom, I want to adamantly stress that there is only one overriding reason teachers quit: the steady erosion of authority and respect. ("If teachers didn't pay income tax, would they be less likely to quit?" editorial, April 8)
Too many students are out of control, and there are zero standards of behavior for them. Take any large high school in Los Angeles and look at the manner in which officials address discipline. You'll find that teachers are on their own once they close that classroom door.
Students can do anything with impunity. Many parents don't care about their children's behavior, and principals often treat disruptive students like high-powered clients due to the litigious nature of our society.
The truth is, effective teachers aren't too concerned about earning a higher salary. This fight is for our survival and, I would argue, that of society itself.
Alejandro Escudé, Los Angeles
To the editor: Instead of making teachers exempt from state income tax, California should consider a nonrefundable credit for classroom expenses up to a set limit.
Teachers spend an average of around $500 a year on their classrooms and currently only see a federal deduction of up to $250.
At least with a higher credit, teachers and students would both see a benefit.
Timothy Allen, Laguna Woods
To the editor: The bill in California to exempt teachers from paying the state income tax would mean, as with restaurants that feed kids for free on certain days, higher costs for the rest of us.
And what's next? No taxes for firefighters, police, doctors or trash collectors?
People with incomes of $70,000 or $98,000 hardly need a tax break.
Leo Coale, Murrieta