Sept. deadline for CTE facilities bond money

Sept. deadline for CTE facilities bond money

(Calif.) Applications for a share of $125 million in state bond money for building or modernizing career technical education facilities can be submitted beginning Sept. 27 with final approving set for next spring.

Proposition 51, approved by voters last November, set aside $500 million to invigorate the state’s Career Technical Education Facilities Program.

Staff at the California Office of Public School Construction is planning another round of funding that will likely offer another $125 million next fall. It is not clear when the remaining funds will be distributed.

An increasingly important component of California’s K-12 education system, career technical instruction has been defined as operating in 15 specific areas of industry—including building and construction trades, fashion design, and health occupations.

The focus in recent years on developing curriculum options for the vast majority of high school students who do not enroll in college has led to a blurring of the lines between CTE and “core” instruction. Groundbreaking approaches like linked-learning have become a much more common part of the high school experience in many communities, and have prompted growing attention from the Legislature.

As part of the 2015-16 budget negotiations, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders agreed to provide local educational agencies $900 million over three years for developing new and better curriculum that integrates robust academics with work-related job training and technical coursework.

Proposition 51, placed before voters by a coalition of school groups and the construction industry, will provide $9 billion in matching state money for building new schools or fixing older ones.

Under the state’s arcane system for overseeing and awarding matching funds to districts for school construction, the State Allocation Board uses a number of tests to decide eligibility for the upcoming award of $125 million.

For new schools, an award is based on enrollment projections; for modernization, the age of the buildings involved are key.

The new CTE facility money will follow existing rules of the School Facilities Program.

The maximum award for a new building is $3 million, and for a modernization project, $1.5 million is the most that the state will provide.