Substantial career tech bills pass first test

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 27, 2007

SB 672 (Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch), a two-CTE course requirement for high school graduation, and AB 1414 (Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley), a bill providing funding for standards-aligned CTE classes, both passed out of the Senate and Assembly Education Committees this week.

Facing some opposition, the Get REAL coalition, as well as many others, testified in support of the bills.  CMTA president Jack Stewart and State Construction and Building Trades President Bob Balgenorth testified about the decline of CTE in our schools and the value of CTE for the California economy and workers.

Watch/Listen to testimony:  SB 672:  Stewart   |  Balgenorth   | Torlakson   |  Scott   AB 1414:  Stewart

In the Senate Education Committee, where SB 672 passed with bipartisan support, Chairman Jack Scott (D-Pasadena) voted "no" stating that SB 672 would mandate costs on small districts that can't afford the equipment, classrooms and teachers. He also feared students bound for the UC system would move to private schools to avoid the CTE mandate. But he agreed that CTE must be rebuilt in the state, and that bills to increase it will get his support. Other legislators voted "yes", despite earlier misgivings, because it is becoming increasingly clear that nothing less than a mandate will move local districts in the right direction.  In addition, another bill passed out of committee, SB 681 (Torlakson) to add a 7th period to the current 6 period school day. This made it easier for some legislators to vote for the CTE mandate of SB 672.

In the Assembly Education Committee, AB 1414 passed on an 8-0 vote despite opposition from the California Teachers Association.  Chairman Mullin and Vice-Chair Garrick commended Assemblywoman Hancock for her leadership on the CTE issue for the Assembly and her work on this bill.

The bills must move through their respective Appropriations committees by June 1, 2007.

Related  media:
Jack Stewart / Bob Balgenorth / Barbara Nemko opinion piece running in Capitol Weekly next week
4-year college degree not the only way to win <>

Read more Education articles

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