HONOLULU (KHON2) — Two new proposals could save certain public school teachers hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

One of them has to do with a big tax break.

There’s an income tax exclusion proposed for teachers who earn 60-thousand dollars or less per year.

It’s not just teachers but also librarians and counselors employed by the department of education or a charter school.

In the midst of a teacher shortage crisis lawmakers are figuring out ow they can convince teachers to stay.

Under a proposal certain public school teachers who earn $60,000 or less each year could be eligible for a partial income tax exemption.

That would mean up to $30,000 in income would not be taxed.

While there are different tax brackets, a teacher making $60,000 could see as much as $2-thousand-400 dollars in annual savings.

The president of the teachers union says every little bit of savings would help.

“A lot of times the biggest turnover we have is with new teachers,” said Hawaii State Teachers Association president Corey Rosenlee. “So we love to see the tax credit for all teachers but anything we can get we’re happy with.”

Future teachers studying at UH Manoa like the idea.

“It’s a good Incentive to be a teacher and we have a little help because the pay isn’t that great.” said Kiliuaokealoha Uyemura. “To me I didn’t do it for the money I want to be a teacher in Hawaii but I think that and teachers are getting what they deserve.”

“We are teaching the keiki, and it’s a tough job,” said Deanna. “We work hard, and we put our blood and sweat into it.”

According to the union the average public school teacher salary is $66,000.
About 4,800 teachers are paid less than $60,000 a year.

Senator Karl Rhoads says he does not know at this time how much it will cost the state but he supports the tax exemption.

“Either we have to raise revenue some how which could happen naturally by the growth of the economy,” said Sen. Karl Rhoads, D, Chinatown, Downtown, Nuuanu. “If we can’t absorb it with just regular growth then one of two things has to happen we have to cut something else or we have to raise taxes.”

There’s also another measure that adds early childhood education students to the Hawaii educator loan program so that loans for those eligible students could be forgiven after a number of years teaching in the field.