[Skip to Content]
News Story

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Awards $4.2 Million to Rural School Districts for Career Education Programs

Posted on 04/09/2015

Career Pathways

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has announced that the first batch of $250 million in funding is being awarded this year to schools and their partners for career education programs.

Eight rural schools and districts, stretching from Tehama County to San Diego County, will share $4.2 million in California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) consortia development and implementation grants. They are the first to receive program grants directed specifically at the state's rural regions. The list of winners is at Funding Results: California Career Pathways Consortium Development Grant External link opens in new window or tab.

The program builds on Torlakson's Career Readiness Initiative External link opens in new window or tab to support career technical education and better prepare students for 21st century jobs. Grant recipients must create sustained career pathways programs that connect businesses, K-12 schools, and community colleges. The remainder of the awards will be announced later this spring.

"These grants are especially valuable in rural areas, where few career education programs are generally available," Torlakson said. "I am pleased the Legislature and the Governor provided us with additional funding to help smaller, rural communities prepare students for jobs in promising industries."

Over the past two years, CCPT has received $500 million in state funding, making it the largest program of its kind in the nation. The program's goal is to build robust partnerships among employers, schools, and community colleges to train and prepare students for the modern economy.

Last year, Torlakson awarded$250 million to 39 consortia External link opens in new window or tab. Recipients included the Los Angeles Unified School District consortium, which targeted training for five high-skill, high-growth industry sectors ranging from health science to environmental resources; the East Bay I-80/880 Consortium, which focused on career training in health sciences, engineering, digital media, and public service; and the Delano-based Paramount Agriculture Career Academy collaborative, which sought to immerse students from five high schools in a demanding, integrated academic program involving agricultural business management, agricultural mechanics, or plant science.

After seeing the program's popularity—the state received 123 applications requesting $709 million in CCPT grants last year—lawmakers approved an additional $250 million in funding to be distributed this year. Torlakson supports Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to spend $250 million each of the next three years on the program.

To win grants, consortia must work with their members to develop learning programs, known as "pathways," from kindergarten through community college. These integrate academics and career-based education and training so students can connect what they learn in school to jobs in their community.

For more information on this grant, visit the CDE's Web page, California Career Pathways Consortium Development Grant External link opens in new window or tab.