Another round of CTE grant funding set for applicants

Another round of CTE grant funding set for applicants

(Calif.) As many as 337 state grants aimed at creating new or improving existing career technical training programs would be awarded this year, under recommendations from the California Department of Education.

Since 2013, legislative leaders along with former-Gov. Jerry Brown invested more than $1 billion to augment existing support for work-related curriculum ranging from agriculture and the building trades, to information technology, art and entertainment.

Although CTE courses have been a staple for high school students that typically struggled with core academic subjects, the modern version of the curriculum has emerged as an important tool for preparing future workers for jobs that require some postsecondary education but not necessarily a four-year degree.

CTE and parallel educational models like “linked learning” are also considered by a growing number of policy makers as a viable option for developing work readiness skills of at-risk students who are unlikely to go on to college.

During the 2016-17 school year, nearly 800,000 high school students—roughly 45 percent of total enrollment—were enrolled in one or more CTE courses, according to a survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.

As part of the final budget that Brown signed last summer, another $150 million was set aside for the CTE Incentive Grant with the intention that the same money would be appropriated indefinitely.

The California State Board of Education is expected to approve the grant allocation formula, specific funding amounts and the projects funded at its regular March meeting next week.

The grants are open to all school districts, county offices of education and charter schools. Proposed projects are evaluated based on a list of 11 grant indicators that include such questions as to whether the program is aligned with college-level education or enable students to attain employment after graduation.

The grants require LEAs provide local matching funds based on the size of the jurisdiction and the stage of funding.

While the vast majority of grants made last year were less than $2 million, some LEAs received substantially more. Los Angeles Unified, for instance, was awarded nearly $17 million. The Contra Costa County Office of Education received $4 million, while Kern High School District won a grant of $3.1 million.

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