California Department of Education Update, June 2020

By: Charles Parker, California Department of Education, State FFA Advisor

As I sit here in my study looking out at the morning sun, my mind wonders at what I should share. There is so much happening that it is difficult to find that one point to focus on. So, let’s take a different approach. Let’s visit on what is happening at the California Department of Education.

We have a new Branch Deputy and a new Branch Name. Kindra Britt is the new Deputy Superintendent for the Access for All Branch. As a good agriculture teacher, I have quickly done research to find out what I can about our new Branch Deputy. Luckily, I have found that she is familiar with FFA and is supportive. She even has former ag teachers in her rolodex. I am looking forward to sitting down with Kindra when we return to the office and answering her questions about what we do and how we do it. In my short year as the program manager, this is the fifth Branch Deputy that I will have worked with.

On June 8, Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, published a guide to re-opening schools. As part of this handbook, there was a brief section on Career Technical Education. This guide is not a book, yet it is still pretty comprehensive. Since each local district will develop their own plan, this is simply some guidance from CDE.

We received an extension regarding the submission of the Perkins V State Plan. The plan is to be submitted to the USDE by June 15. Currently the plan that has been developed is on the Governor’s desk waiting for his signature.  We are hopeful that he will sign the current plan and we will then be able to meet the June 15 date.

The biggest thing happening at CDE is the State Budget and its impact on education. As with local districts, we are anxiously keeping an eye on the State Capitol to see what the final verdict will be regarding funding for schools. For those of us in CTE, we are hopeful that funding will be restored so that we can continue to drive change and improve local programs. Will we be furloughed or receive a salary reduction? When will we be returning to the office? What does travel look like? These are all questions that still remain.

For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit http://calagteachers.org/

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