CTE included in LCFF budget compromise

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 13, 2013 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The Governor and Legislative leaders reached a compromise on the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) earlier this week that includes funding for career and technical education (CTE). The CTE package is not as strong as we had hoped for but it does continue funding for the smaller programs while protecting the bulk of CTE funds (approximately $400 million) for at least another two years. It also provides new, one-time funding for competitive CTE grants that may be beneficial to manufacturers currently partnering with local school districts or community college districts to increase technical training in their area.

The Budget Conference Committee adopted the compromise proposal along partisan lines, with Republicans staying off or not voting, in part because the proposal language was not available for review prior to the vote.

While details of the compromise are still pending, early reports indicate it contains the following components:

  • Preserves current funding level and program requirements for Partnership Academies, the Agricultural Career Technical Education Incentive Program and Specialized Secondary Programs;
  • Retains current funding for Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCP) for the next two years and requires districts currently engaged in those programs to continue their operations at their current funding level;
  • Appropriates $250 million in one-time funding to provide competitive grants for programs that integrate hands-on training with traditional academic instruction; and
  • Adds an additional 2.8 percent to the base grant for high schools to support CTE programs that may include increased accountability for districts to ensure those funds are being used exclusively for CTE.

The good news is that critical career and technical training programs remain a part of the new funding formula for education finance in California. However, a majority of the current CTE dollars still remain vulnerable and unpredictable, and it is unclear whether the additional resources provided will enhance and/or expand the state’s CTE system. The two-year sunset on ROCP dollars means we must begin now to ensure that resource remains available in the future.

California manufacturers need a stable and reliable pipeline of skilled workers in order to expand operations and fill future job openings as our employees retire. CMTA will continue the course to protect CTE programs and funding. But, over the next several years, as the state implements the LCFF, it remains to be seen how the Governor and the Legislature will protect and strengthen this system.

The LCFF, as well as the entire State Budget, must be approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor by June 15, 2013.

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