THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF UNITED STATES SENATOR JAY ROCKEFELLER.
Washington, DC – Senator Jay Rockefeller re-introduced a bill this Congress – Incentives to Educate America’s Children (I-TEACH) – that will improve the quality of instruction for West Virginia’s students and students in rural areas nationwide. Under the bill, teachers who commit to teaching in rural school districts would receive a $1000 annual refundable tax credit. The bill also calls for teachers who have National Board certification – regardless of where they teach – to receive the same annual refundable tax credit.
“Every child deserves a quality education that will put them on the path to success,” said Rockefeller. “And the truth is that some rural schools are facing a great need for teachers as they struggle to compete against school districts in higher population areas. This bill will allow rural school districts to attract and retain teachers, while also giving our hard working, dedicated teachers an incentive they very much deserve.”
The I-TEACH bill provides an annual $1000 refundable tax credit for kindergarten, elementary, or secondary school teachers in schools where at least 75 percent of students receive free or reduced school lunches. Teachers who teach in a school classified by the Department of Education as School Locale Code 7 or 8 – meaning they are located a certain distance away from a city or town – would also be eligible.
Over 43 percent of West Virginia students attend rural schools, according to the Rural School and Community Trust 2007 report titled ‘‘Why Rural Matters.”
Rockefeller’s bill also includes a provision allowing teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to receive a $1000 refundable tax credit for any year they are certified. Since its inception in 1987, over 74,000 teachers from across the country have completed National Board certification – including 422 in West Virginia.
Teachers who are both nationally certified and teach in rural areas would qualify for $2000 in refundable tax credits annually.