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Linked Learning Alliance Policy Brown Bag Tackles Historic K-12 Budget Questions

October 8, 2021

On October 6, 2021, Capitol Advisors and the California Department of Education joined the Linked Learning Alliance for a robust conversation with the field on the historic K-12 California budget. While the budget invests billions of dollars into a variety of education programs and grants, our policy brown bag focused on changes to the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG), the A-G Completion Improvement Grant program, investments in school-based health, the Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, and the Community Schools Partnership Program.

Thanks to advocacy from the Linked Learning field, CTEIG received an additional $150 million in funding. CTEIG serves as a key source of funding for many Linked Learning pathways, and this increased investment is a welcome success in the 2021-22 budget. Amber Alexander, Principal Program Budget Analyst at the California Department of Education, and Cathy McBride, Senior Policy Advocate at Capitol Advisors, highlighted the major headlines from the CTEIG budget update and answered questions from the field on how the changes could impact students.

Amber and Cathy also covered the new A-G Completion Improvement Grant program, which received nearly $500 million in funding. A-G completion is essential to high-quality Linked Learning pathways, and these funds can help support additional students in reaching their full potential in high school and beyond. Another critical component of the Linked Learning approach, student supports get a boost in funding through both the School Based Health and Youth Behavioral Health budget items. Both programs support youth mental health programs in schools, and the Youth Behavioral Health Initiative proposes grants to increase behavioral health providers, including counselors and coaches. Finally, we covered the $3 billion investment in community schools, meant to expand community schools throughout the state. Linked Learning can be leveraged as a framework to deliver the community school model in high schools, setting students on a path to postsecondary and community success.

Given the number of new and expanded programs in this year’s state budget, the Linked Learning Alliance will continue to keep the field updated on policy matters through blog updates and policy brown bags throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you next time!