After listening to "over three dozen" speakers on behalf of career tech education, an Assembly subcommittee yesterday voted unanimously to approve two motions by Assemblymember Al Murtasuchi (D-Torrance) to restore categorical funding for the programs (which had been released into the dicey waters of the Local Control Funding Formula, putting the fate of tech ed into the hands of local school boards). Michelle Maitre of EdSource has the story:
...In separate motions...the committee voted to reject a proposal in Gov. Brown’s 2014-15 budget that would eliminate categorical funding for two specialized career-tech programs, Agricultural Career Technical Education (CTE) Incentive Program and Specialized Secondary Programs. The second motion establishes career tech programs as a “state priority” and calls on schools to continue funding the programs – which a spokeswoman for Muratsuchi called “placeholder” language that sets the stage for budget discussions to come....
...H.D. Palmer, a state Dept. of Finance spokesman, said that relaxing categorical funding was a key tenet of the Local Control Funding Formula, which is intended to give schools more power to fund the programs as they see fit.
“If local districts believe career tech is an important program, nothing would preclude them from continuing to fund the program,” he said.
UPDATE, March 20, 2014: Career tech programs and Ag ed programs in California public schools "are in a death spiral." -- Jim Aschwanden, executive director of the California Agricultural Teachers Assn., as quoted in EdSource.
This week,high school ag students from around the state protested the Governor's budget that moves career tech and ag ed programs into noncategorical slots subject to competition with other choices by local school boards.[See history throughout this thread.] From Sacramento, the California Report (audio below) covered the story.