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Linked Learning Alliance Responds to Governor Newsom’s 2023–2024 California State Budget

June 30, 2023 | Linked Learning Alliance

In response to Governor Newsom’s 2023–2024 California State Budget, the Linked Learning Alliance issued the following statement:

Despite a budget shortfall, California lawmakers took bold steps for all students, prioritizing investments in equitable opportunities to learn and succeed. They kept their promise to educators, students, and communities, and responded to their calls to preserve $500M in crucial funding for the Golden State Pathways Program. The Linked Learning Alliance applauds Governor Newsom, the California Legislature, and the California Department of Education for affirming a more prosperous, equitable future for California youth.

Golden State Pathways Program dedicates funding to approaches like Linked Learning that reimagine high schools with students at the center. By blending rigorous college preparation with career technical learning, and comprehensive student supports, Linked Learning ensures all students receive the full range of experiences needed for postsecondary success. More than a decade of research shows that such opportunities result in decreased dropout rates, higher graduation rates, more credits earned, more college preparatory courses completed, and improved work skills compared with similar peers in traditional high schools.

This investment allows us to offer even more young people access to genuine, effective college and career preparation opportunities– particularly youth ages 14-24 who are in their decade of difference, a formative period of development, when lifelong identities, dispositions, and aspirations take shape. Taken together, the $500M investment in Golden State Pathways, along with a $200M for dual enrollment, and $4B in Community Schools, completes the governor’s vision to create greater coherence across our education and workforce systems.

Our lawmakers’ decision to honor the Golden State Pathways Program commitment made in last year’s budget is a renewed opportunity to reimagine the high school experience for students and the future. Fully realizing the Governor’s long-term vision will require a long-term commitment to the high-quality implementation of Golden State Pathways. It is our golden opportunity to ensure what we build together results in real and enduring outcomes: on-time graduation, college readiness and enrollment, degree completion, and employment in high-opportunity, good-paying jobs.

“By preserving the $500M investment in the Golden State Pathways program, lawmakers kept a promise made specifically to our state’s adolescents: To create educational experiences that will make their dreams and aspirations for the future all the more possible,” said Anne Stanton, president, and CEO of the Linked Learning Alliance. Often adolescence is seen as a time to endure rather than a time to embrace – a period of rich personal growth, self-discovery, and potential. Golden State Pathways will expand access to educational pathways that intentionally connect classroom learning to local business and college life to help young people discover their purpose and power during an incredibly pivotal time in their development and lives.”

The Linked Learning Alliance is primed to activate our network as partners to transform how young people experience school and critical transitions between K-12, postsecondary, and the workforce through the Golden State Pathways Program. We look forward to working with Governor Newsom, the state Legislature, and the California Department of Education to see this historic investment through to high-quality implementation and success for young people at scale.