Senator McGuire’s Bi-Partisan Career & Job Skills Bill Passes Senate Education Committee

SB 148 gets unanimous support from committee

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire was joined by teachers, manufacturers, the farm bureau, and members of the building trades Wednesday morning when his bi-partisan legislation that would expand career and job skills in public middle and high schools advanced through the Senate Education Committee with a 7-0 vote.

“Career Technical Education is crucial for the success of our students in today’s economy. Almost 70 percent of public high school graduates in California will not go on to receive a four year college degree. Students require career, technical and job skills programs to ensure they have the tools necessary to thrive in today’s job market,” Senator McGuire said.

Across the state, CTE programs have been cut by districts as California’s education financing structure has changed. The Career and Job Skills Education Act (SB 148) restores the state’s previous commitment to Career Technical Education (CTE) by investing $600 million into new and expanded high-quality programs.

“CTE investment will soon be at a historic low, while at the same time, the state’s economic vitality is dependent on a skilled and qualified workforce coming out of career and job skill education programs in our schools. Investing in Career and Job Skills programs is one of the best economic development tools we have,” Senator McGuire said. “We know that CTE programs are successful and we have to start investing in our future workforce.”

Investment in CTE not only creates tangible job skills for our future work force, it has proven to decrease high school drop-out rates. The average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90 percent, compared to an average freshman graduation rate of 75 percent.

SB 148 has bipartisan support and closely mirrors, in language and intent, the CTE incentive matching grant program outlined in the Governor’s 2015-16 budget proposal. It expands upon that $250 million, using funds from the anticipated billions in growth of Proposition 98 funds. In addition, the bill is specifically tailored to districts by preserving the local control funding formula. 

“For the first time, this is a bill that will ensure funds go directly to CTE programs by requiring rigorous performance standards and accountability measures based on student outcomes,” McGuire added.

Representatives from the California School Board Association, State Building & Construction Trades Council, California Manufacturers & Technology Association, California Chamber of Commerce and the California Federation of Teachers testified in support of the legislation during the Senate Education hearing this week.

Nicole Rice with the Manufacturers Association said in her testimony: “We support the industry and education community working together so students are getting the skills they need to be able to compete for the jobs that are critical to California’s advancing economy.”

Senator Leyva, who sits on the Senate Education Committee said during the hearing: “I have not met anyone that does not support this issue (CTE). However we can make sure our youth are prepared for the future, is what we should do. … There is no downside to this bill.”

After approval from the Education Committee, SB 148 will now be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee for approval.

The Senate Republican Leader, Bob Huff, and Assemblymembers Burke and Wood are principle co-authors on SB 148. Senators Allen, Hall, Mendoza, Fuller, Beall and Vidak and Assemblymembers Dodd, Gonzalez, Lackey and Mullin are co-authors. SB 148 has a long list of supporters, including California Labor Federation (AFL-CIO); California Chamber of Commerce; California Manufacturers & Technology Association; State Building & Construction Trades Council California School Employees Association; California Federation of Teachers; California School Board Association; California Parent Teacher Association; California Agricultural Teachers Association; California Association for Career and Technical Education; California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs; California Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors; California Automotive Business Coalition; California Business Education Association; California Correctional Peace Officers Association; California Farm Bureau Federation; Professional Beauty Federation of California; North Bay Commercial Services Inc.; CA Hospital Association; Southern California Regional Occupation Center; SIA Tech; California Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association; Edge Coalition (California Budget Project, CA Hosp. Association, CA Workforce Association, National Council of La Raza, Policy Link, Career Ladder Project for the Community Colleges, California Labor Federation, California Manufacturers & Technology Association, State Building & Construction Trades Council).

For more information or questions, please contact Kerrie Lindecker, Communications Coordinator, at 707-319-3654, or email her at