CTE protection bill advances

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, May 30, 2013

A measure that protects existing funding for career technical training in the K-12 education system was approved this week by the State Senate. SB 660 by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) received bi-partisan support and is now headed to the State Assembly for consideration. CMTA supports this bill because it recognizes the important role career technical education (CTE) plays in equipping young people with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the workforce needs of the manufacturing industry.

SB 660 preserves CTE funding by requiring these dollars be used exclusively for those programs. Currently, most CTE dollars can be used for any general educational purpose. The bill also implements an accountability system to ensure that the hands-on training students receive is rigorous and relevant to the needs of the state’s economy and encourages local collaboration among programs to ensure funding is utilized to develop courses and services tailored to the needs of the region.

The passage of SB 660 is a significant milestone because it is part of the Senate alternative proposal to the Governor’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). While the LCFF eliminates the funding source for CTE and allows local districts to decide whether or not to continue to offer those programs, the Senate proposal [SB 69 by Senator Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge)], together with SB 660, protects CTE program funding by recognizing it as a state priority.

Not all students are going to go to college right after high school and possibly never. CTE programs provide that educational option to allow those students to remain engaged in learning, offers them an alternative to dropping out and equips them with the skills and training necessary to enter the world of work. 

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