California Governor Jerry Brown Wants to Zero Out State Support for FFA in His StateFri, 19 May 2017 06:06:58 CDT
The Agricultural Community in California is not happy with their Governor after he has proposed cutting out state support for the FFA program in that state. In his 2017-18 State Budget released earlier in the year, Governor Brown proposed the complete elimination of funding for the Future Farmers of America program and other programs in Career Technical Education serving students throughout California. Also included in these cuts were the elimination of Partnership Academy Programs, the University of California Curriculum Institute for recognizing CTE courses for admission purposes, and Professional Development Activities for CTE instructors.
These programs have been funded by $15 million in CTE Pathway monies that were provided to the California Department of Education for supporting statewide Career Technical Education activities and programs. The Governor’s proposal for this year would eliminate this source of funds, directly them instead to the Community College Chancellor’s Office to supplement other workforce development funds already in existence.
“We are extremely disappointed that Governor Brown has proposed eliminating Career Technical Student Organizations like the Future Farmers of America and other CTE funding in California” said Jim Aschwanden, Executive Director of the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association. “The loss of these components of Career Technical Education will have a devastating effect on programs and teachers statewide. CTE programs remain vitally important to the economic well-being of our state, and this proposal eliminates highly effective programs that have proven their worth over time. We think this is a terrible mistake.”
Lawmakers in California will start their consideration of the state budget next month.
According to an article in the Turlock Journal, the state money would gut a lot of the leadership development opportunities that FFA is famous for. “We’re worried about what will happen to our programs if it does happen, which is why we’re telling the public about it,” Turlock High’s Lead FFA Advisor Randee Vitorino said.
"For FFA specifically, the proposed halt in funding would limit and potentially put a stop to travel for leadership conferences and events such as the State FFA Convention. But perhaps the biggest danger in the minds of Vitorino and her FFA colleagues is the halt to curriculum growth that would result from the passage of Governor Brown’s proposed budget.
“FFA has grown tremendously from when I was in high school,” Vitorino said. “Now a days students are given more hands on opportunities that are right in line with what’s going on in the industry and this benefits them greatly for whatever career field they’re going into.
“We’d still have those classes, but growing them to the next level and getting more classes approved would be eliminated.”
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