California Department of Education Update: January 2021

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

As the calendar turned over from 2020 to 2021, one of my first tasks was to make sure that I had all of the year’s most important dates entered. I am that person who wants to be organized, with everything in its rightful place and my calendar up to date. So, when I went to enter those events into my 2021 calendar, I began to have anxiety attacks. There are so many uncertainties and missing dates!

If you are feeling much the same way, feel free to do what I did. Walk outside, look to the sky, and yell as loud as you can! No, this did not help, but it did cause a few neighbors to frantically begin calling, seeking what was wrong.

For you, I will try to at least provide you with the latest information. I will not answer all your questions and most likely will not help with peace of mind. But, it will be the truth.

CalAgEd

If you have not already done so, log onto calaged.org and check out our redesigned site. Dane White and Maureen Funk have done a tremendous job in facilitating the development of the new site. Let us know your reaction as well as anything that we can improve.

AET

Remember each teacher now has their individual login to AET. In logging in, one of the first tasks should be to reset your password. We are hopeful that each teacher will find a few moments to log into AET and update their personal profile so that it is indicating 100% completion. If you have any troubles or a teacher is missing, do not hesitate to contact your regional supervisor.

ALA and MFE

Hannah Garrett and her team have been working diligently on updating the curriculum for our winter conferences, Advanced Leadership Academies (ALA) and Made for Excellence (MFE). Registration should be on calaged.org in the next couple of weeks. For the latest information regarding ALA’s go to https://calaged.org/advanced-leadership-academy and for MFE’s visit https://calaged.org/made-excellence-conference.

Career Development Events

For Career Development Events, we are currently finalizing which events will be conducted this year and identifying dates in which the state finals will be held. This year all CDE’s will be held in a virtual format. We have asked our university and college partners if they would be willing to assist in coordinating virtual state finals and will be utilizing this information as we finalize the details.  Our goal is to have a final list available in early February.

State Leadership Conference

In December, we announced that the State FFA Leadership Conference would not be held in March. We are currently looking at dates and possible venues in May that would allow us to host the conference. Our hope is that we will be able to have a hybrid event that will allow some in person attendees and a virtual event. Conferences and hotels are reluctant to issue any contracts at this time due to the ever-changing guidelines regarding the pandemic. We are hoping to have something finalized in early February that will enable us to grow as conditions change. 

Tentative Calendar

Check with your Regional Supervisor for an up-to-date calendar specific to your section and region.

JANUARY

January 1 – New Year’s Day

January 4-6 – State Staff Meeting

January 7-8 – Student Teacher Conclave (virtual event)

January 13-14 – CATA Advanced Leadership Institute

January 13-14 – CATA Winter Governing Board

January 18 – Martin Luther King Day

January 23 – Natural Resources State Finals (virtual event)

January 25 – State Degree Applications Due in AET

FEBRUARY

February 1 – MFE/ALA Registration Due (virtual event)

February 1 – Applications Due (Distinguished Service and Honorary State Degree)

February 1-2 – Supervising Teacher Institute (virtual event)

February 5 – UC Davis Field Day Agriscience Fair Papers Due (virtual event)

February 6 – Winter State Finals (virtual event)

February 12 – Lincoln’s Birthday

February 12 – State Degree Approved Lists Due

February 13 – Southern Region CATA/FFA Meetings (virtual event)

February 15 – President’s Day

February 15 – State FFA Advisory Committee Meeting

February 19 – Region Proficiency Lists Finalized (virtual event)

February 20 – North Coast Region CATA/FFA Meetings

February 20 – San Joaquin Region CATA/FFA Meetings

February 22 – South Coast Region CATA Meeting

February 22 – UC Davis Field Day Agriscience Fair Posters Due (virtual event)

February 23-24 – State Proficiency Scoring (virtual event)

February 26 – State Proficiency Finalists Announced (virtual event)

February 27 – Central Region CATA/FFA Meetings

MARCH

March 1 – Applications Due (National Chapter; State Committee Chair; State Nominating Committee; State Officer; and Website)

March 1 – State FFA Executive Committee Meeting

March 5-6 – MFE/ALA Date 1 (virtual event)

March 5-6 – UC Davis Field Day (virtual event)

March 6 – UC Davis Field Day Agriscience Fair Results (virtual event)

March 12-13 – MFE/ALA Date 2 (virtual event)

March 13 – Chico State Field Day (virtual event)

March 15 – State FFA Leadership Conference Registration Due

March 15 – Job Interview Resumes and Cover Letters Due for Regional Contests

March 15 – Applications Due (Star Administrator; Star Counselor; Star Supporting Staff; Star Reporter; Hall of Chapter; State Talent and State Scholarship)

March 16 – State Officer Candidate Experience 1 (virtual event)

March 19 – Agriscience Fair Research Papers/Application Due in AET (virtual event)

March 19 – Proficiency Award Videos Due (virtual event)

March 19 – South Coast Region Creed Recitation Event (virtual event)

March 19 – Prepared Manuscripts Due for Region Contests (virtual event)

March 19 – State Nominating Committee Pre-Screening

March 19-20 – MFE/ALA Date 3 (virtual event)

March 23 – Central Region Extemporaneous Contest (virtual event)

March 24 – Southern Region ExtemporaneousContest (virtual event)

March 25 – South Coast Region ExtemporaneousContest (virtual event)

March 26 – Superior Region Extemporaneous Contest (virtual event)

March 29 – North Coast Region Extemporaneous Contest (virtual event)

March 29 – San Joaquin Region Extemporaneous Contest (virtual event)

March 30 – North Coast Region Prepared Contest (virtual event)

March 30 – Superior Region Prepared Contest (virtual event)

March 31 – Central Region Prepared Contest (virtual event)

March 31 – San Joaquin Region Prepared Contest (virtual event)

APRIL

April 1 – Applications Due (Courtesy Corp and Press Corp)

April 1 – South Coast Region Prepared Contest (virtual event)

April 1 – Southern Region Prepared Contest (virtual event)

April 2 – Entries Due for All Regional Parliamentary Procedure Teams

April 4 – Easter Sunday

April 5 – North Coast Region Job Interview Contest (virtual event)

April 5 – Superior Region Job Interview Contest (virtual event)

April 6 – Central Region Impromptu Contest (virtual event)

April 6 – Southern Region Impromptu Contest (virtual event)

April 6 – State Officer Candidate Experience 2 (virtual event)

April 7 – Superior Region Impromptu Contest (virtual event)

April 7 – San Joaquin Region Impromptu Contest (virtual event)

April 7 – Central Region Job Interview Contest (virtual event)

April 7 – San Joaquin Region Job Interview Contest (virtual event)

April 8 – North Coast Region Impromptu Contest (virtual event)

April 8 – South Coast Region Impromptu Contest (virtual event)

April 9 – South Coast Region Job Interview Contest (virtual event)

April 9 – Southern Region Job Interview Contest (virtual event)

April 9 – Prepared Manuscripts Due for State Finals (virtual event)

April 9 – Agriscience Fair Research Paper Results Announced (virtual event)

April 13 – North Coast Region Creed Recitation Contest (virtual event)

April 13 – Southern Region Creed Recitation Contest (virtual event)

April 14 – Superior Region Creed Recitation Contest (virtual event)

April 14 – Central Region Creed Recitation Contest (virtual event)

April 14 – San Joaquin Region Creed Recitation Contest (virtual event)

April 15 – Agriscience Fair Digital Display Boards Due (virtual event)

April 15 – Parliamentary Procedure Test for all Regional Parliamentary Procedure Teams (On-Line)

April 16 – Superior Region Parliamentary Procedure Contest (virtual event)

April 19 – State Officer Candidate Experience 3 (virtual event)

April 21 – Job Interview Resumes & Cover Letters Due for State Finals (virtual event)

April 21 – South Coast Region Parliamentary Procedure Contest (virtual event)

April 22 – North Coast Region Parliamentary Procedure Contest (virtual event)

April 23 – Southern Region Parliamentary Procedure Contest (virtual event)

April 26 – Creed Recitation State Finals (virtual event)

April 27 – Prepared Public Speaking State Finals (virtual event)

April 28 – Extemporaneous Speaking State Finals (virtual event)

April 29 – Impromptu Speaking State Finals (virtual event)

April 30 – Job Interview State Finals (virtual event)

MAY

May 1 – State Officer Candidate Experience 4 (virtual event)

May 3 – Agriscience Fair Team Interview/Videos Due (virtual event)

May 3 – San Joaquin Region Advanced Parliamentary Procedure Contest (virtual event)

May 4 – San Joaquin Region Novice Parliamentary Procedure Contest (virtual event)

May 5 – Central Region Advanced Parliamentary Procedure Contest (virtual event)

May 6 – Central Region Novice Parliamentary Procedure Contest (virtual event)

May 7 – Agriscience Fair Results Announced (virtual event)

May 9 – Mother’s Day

May 13-16 – State FFA Leadership Conference (Sacramento-Tentative)

May 18 – State Novice Parliamentary Procedure Preliminary Rounds (virtual event)

May 19 – State Advanced Parliamentary Procedure Preliminary Rounds (virtual event)

May 20 – State Novice Parliamentary Procedure Semi-Final Round in AM (virtual event)

May 20 – State Advanced Parliamentary Procedure Semi-Final Round in PM (virtual event)

May 22 – State Parliamentary Procedure Finals (virtual event)

May 31 – Memorial Day

JUNE

June 1 – National Delegate Applications Due

June 1-3 – State Ag Ed Staff Meeting

June 20 – Father’s Day

June 21-25 – CATA Summer Conference (TBD)

Other items needed to include:

CDE State Finals – TBD

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

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2021 Resolutions

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

In taking a moment to reflect on 2020, I want to congratulate you, teachers of agriculture, for finding ways to elevate your program and students. It is exciting to read and watch what you are posting on social media, as well as what you are sharing with each other. I applaud your efforts and know that your students and parents are extremely proud to be in your class.

As with many of you, one of my first chores in 2021 was to establish New Year’s Resolutions. Yes, many of these were broken in the ensuing days, but a few, I hope, will be long lasting. The inevitable resolutions to lose weight or run every day were most certainly good choices, but they were also the first ones to go.

Personally, I have vowed to be more appreciative of and patient with my family. I often find myself listening, but not hearing, as they share their day with me. I need to be there for them and with them.

Professionally, I am resolute in giving welcoming hugs. I have come to realize how important those special moments are when I get to actually meet and visit with teachers. I have the distinct honor to work closely with some outstanding agricultural educators and oftentimes do not recognize how important they are to me and to our profession. I am challenging myself to find ways to support and recognize my staff so that they know how much I value our friendship.

What are your resolutions? Do you have those that will last the test of time? If you have not already done so, I hope you take a moment and jot down personal and professional resolutions and then post them in a spot that you will see daily. Yes, I realize that most will not last but for a few weeks or months. But, what about those that need to last a lifetime?

My final resolution for 2021 is that I will meet with students and teachers in person. I look forward to that opportunity as this will not be a resolution that goes away.

I lift my bottle of Pepsi filled with peanuts in a toast, “may your 2021 be a year filled with memories and accomplishments, both personally and professionally.”

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

Sacramento Scene: January 2021

By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director

Governor Gavin Newsom released the 2021-22 State Budget last week. Indicators in California point to continued economic recovery, which was reflected in the budget. Proposition 98, which funds K-14 education, set a record at $89.2 billion. The California State University and the University of California systems received a proposed 3% increase from last year’s allocation (Fensterwarld, 2021). 

In a news conference, Newsom said his goal was to address the learning loss in disproportionately impacted student populations. He stated that distance learning had not met all students’ needs in an equal manner. 

The budget allocates $2 billion to facilitate the extra costs associated with in-person instruction. The best remedy to pandemic-related disruptions to student learning are best overcome by providing in-person instruction to students. These funds can be used for COVID-19 testing, PPP equipment, improving indoor ventilation systems, hiring teachers and classified staff and social and mental health support services. 

A portion of the budget surplus will be allocated to paying off deferrals from the 2019-20 budget, as well as adding to the Proposition 98 Rainy Day Fund (Governor’s Budget Summary, 2020). 

Highlights from the 2021-22 State Education Budget

  • $89.2 billion for total spending ($85.8 billion through Prop. 98 formula) K-12 and community colleges
  • $4.6 billion for summer school and extra learning time
  • $2 billion in one-time money to augment resources for schools offering in-person instruction
  • $500 million for teacher development programs.
  • $700 million in funding for programs that help students cope with anxiety, depression, stress and other disorders
  • An additional $300 million for special education
  • $44 million toward providing 4,500 more child care vouchers for low-income families
  • The CSU budget will increase to $144.5 million – a 3% increase
  • The UC system will increase to $136 million – a 3% increase
  • Post-secondary enrollment is projected to decline which will have a negative financial impact for 2021
  • Funding for K-12 CTE programs remains status quo.  

(Fensterwarld, 2021)

Proposition 98 Spending for the Last Decade

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