Senator McGuire’s push for results driven Career Technical classes in public schools succeeds – $400 million will be invested this coming year

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sacramento, CA – Senator Mike McGuire has dedicated the greater part of the last five years on expanding career training and job skills programs in our public middle and high schools. Since being elected to the State Senate, McGuire has doubled down on those efforts – organizing a bi-partisan coalition to successfully push for the largest investment in career training programs over the last decade via The Career and Job Skills Education Act (SB 148).

Agreed to by the Budget Conference Committee – and heading to a floor vote in the State Senate and Assembly later this week - $400 million will be invested across the state into results-driven, high-quality career training classes in public middle and high schools.

“This is the first time that small and rural districts, like many on the North Coast, will have an equal playing field when it comes to Career and Job Skills training,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “We know that results-driven Career Technical Education increases high school graduation rates and ensures students are better prepared for the workforce.”

Across the state, CTE programs have been cut by districts as California’s education financing structure has undergone significant change. Senator McGuire has made it a priority to increase the state’s commitment to Career Technical Education by investing millions of dollars into new and expanded high-quality programs.

“This year, students all across our state will benefit from this $400 million investment in career training programs and I can’t thank the Governor, Pro-Tem de León and our bi-partisan coalition enough for their incredible work and dedication to this vital issue. A new generation of students will have the resources they need to succeed in our state’s growing economy which will benefit our communities in the years to come,” Senator Mike McGuire said.

Key to Senator McGuire’s CTE proposal are elements that would ensure smaller school districts are not at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for CTE funding and that urban and rural districts alike that have high drop out and unemployment rates will receive priority when applying for funding. In addition, districts that have high English Language Learner populations, low income families and foster youth will also be provided priority.  

Additionally, Senator McGuire has focused on establishing accountability metrics to ensure that CTE money is being spent on high-quality programs that lead to student success. 

Almost 70 percent of public high school graduates in California will not go on to receive a four year college degree. Senator McGuire believes students deserve results-driven career, technical and job skills programs to ensure they have the tools necessary to thrive in today’s job market.

The investment in CTE funding comes on the heels of the largest investment the legislature has ever proposed for public education when the Senate and Assembly passed the legislative budget yesterday. The budget prioritizes education funding by investing more than $68 billion – more than $10,000 per pupil – an increase of 15 percent in just two years.

This year’s budget will also invest $265 million for Early Childhood Education programs, it will create an additional 10,000 new slots in the California State University System, 5,000 new slots in the University of California system (in addition to a two year tuition freeze) and will grow the state’s reserves to the largest in decades.