Sacramento Scene, February 2020

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director

On January 10, Governor Gavin Newsom submitted his 2019-2020 “California for All” proposed budget. In all the historic budget is $222.2 billion. Below is a recap of the portions of the budget that relate specifically to agricultural and career technical education. 

2019-2020 Proposition 98 Funding 

The Proposition 98 funding for K-12 schools and community colleges for 2020-21 is $84 billion, an all-time high. K-12 per-pupil spending is increasing from $17,508 in 2019-20 to $17,964 in 2020-21—the highest level ever. 

2019-2020 K-12 Career Technical Education Funding 

The current budget contains similar levels in funding for K-12 Career Technical Education (CTE) as last year’s budget. The Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG) is included at $150 million. The K-12 Strong Workforce (SWF) Grant is also scheduled at $150 million, with an additional $14 million for staffing. Lastly, the Agricultural Incentive Grant is budgeted at the 2019-2020 level. 

Increased scrutiny is being placed on K-12 CTE funding by the legislature and the Board of Education. Two things have raised questions about how these funds are being allocated. Item number one is a change in the interpretation of the CTEIG’s funding formula which drastically reduced funding to smaller districts. The second item is complaints from the field with the application and distribution process of K-12 SWF funding. The CTE technical assistants that were supposed to be hired with money from K-12 SWF have yet to materialize.  With both CTE programs experiencing challenges the distribution and accountability, it will be interesting to see what types of changes are adopted moving forward.

Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond 

The Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020 will be voted on March 3rd. If approved by California voters, $15 billion will be allocated for facility construction at both secondary and post-secondary educational sites. The money is set to be allocated in the following ways: 

  • $6 billion for higher education, with $2 billion each for community colleges, California State University and the University of California.
  • $5.2 billion would support K-12 modernization projects, including $150 million to support lead in drinking water testing and remediation. 
  • $2.8 billion would support new K-12 construction projects. 
  • $500 million would support K-12 charter school construction projects.
  • $500 million would support K-12 career technical education projects. 

If approved by the voters in the Presidential Primary Election on March 3, this measure would introduce significant changes relative to the funding of school facilities including, increasing the bonding capacity. Changes would include increasing the assessed value of taxable property for elementary and high school districts from 1.25% to 2.0% and increasing the assessed value of taxable property from 2.5% to 4.0% for unified school districts and community college districts.

Higher Education

The Budget proposes total funding of $36 billion for higher education. The total reflects growth of approximately $111 million compared 2019-20. 

California Community Colleges (CCC’s) 

The Student-Centered Funding Formula was established in the 2018 Budget to replace the enrollment-based apportionments formula. Because the student centered formula is only in its second year of implementation, no drastic changes are budgeted for 2020-21.

The big change for the CCC is the $83.2 million increase to support apprenticeship programs. The money will be used for the creation of apprenticeship opportunities in priority and emerging industry sectors, to expand work-based learning, and cover the cost of increased apprenticeship instructional hours.  

California State University 

The Budget includes a five-percent increase in base resources, or $199 million in ongoing General Funds, to support the CSU’s operational costs, expand CSU enrollment, and work on the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025. The initiative seeks to increase four-year graduation rates by 40% by 2025. In addition, the Budget includes $6 million one-time funds to develop or expand degree and certificate programs via the extended and continuing education programs.

University of California

The UC system will also get a five-percent increase in base resources for campuses. The Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources were specifically identified in the budget to receive part of the increase. In addition to this ongoing funding increase, the Budget contained one-time funding to support degree and certificate completion programs.  

Moving Forward

CATA will follow the budget pieces that are specific and impactful to agricultural education at the secondary and post-secondary levels as they move through the system. Visits with both the Governor’s Office and the Department of Finance are ongoing to insure that our interests are being safeguarded.  

Perkins V

In the State of the Union Address President Trump announced funding for “Vocational and Technical” education in all schools. The federal budget was released on February 10th and contained cuts for education in general but contained good news for CTE.  Perkins is proposed to get nearly $900 million in additional funding. This proposal would include a $680 million increase for Perkins Basic State Grants, $83 million increase for competitive national grant programs, and an additional $100 million that could come from the H-1B visa program.

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Matt Patton, Executive Director, California Agricultural Teachers’ Assn.mpatton@calagteachers.org209 744-1605

For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit


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