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Linked Learning Alliance Responds to Governor Newsom's 2023–2024 January Budget

January 11, 2023 | Linked Learning Alliance

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

The Linked Learning Alliance, a coalition of educators, employers, and community organizations dedicated to accelerating the adoption of high-quality educational pathways, applauds Governor Newsom for proposing a budget that reinforces an unwavering commitment to California’s schools, our six million young people, and the equity they deserve. Despite facing a steep deficit, the 2023–2024 budget protects key recent investments in education and economic justice, while enabling communities to continue their work to link systems of opportunity and support for all young people.

Recent historic investments include $700 million for Golden State Pathways and dual enrollment, along with $4 billion for community schools. Educators, policymakers, employers, students, and families overwhelmingly agree that these investments are what it will take to transform the student experience. Now the time has come to catalyze coherence across these investments, align efforts around a shared vision of excellence and equity in education, focus on high-quality implementation, and ensure resources go where they are needed most.

If California is to improve college and career outcomes for all young people, we must continue to be deliberate in our efforts to accelerate student progress across our high school and postsecondary systems. Our schools and communities are still reeling from the pandemic, which deepened existing education and economic disparities, disproportionately impacting our state’s historically underserved communities. Student engagement continues to suffer across the K–12 to college and career pipeline, with chronic absenteeism on the rise and declining postsecondary enrollment. We cannot afford to lose this talent. We cannot afford to sit still or backslide on equity. Instead, we must work harder and smarter than ever to connect learning and workforce development meaningfully in the context of community, and build upon past investments and systems for a better tomorrow.

As we think about addressing today’s challenges and the more equitable economic future we want for our state, proven educational strategies must be central to the conversation. Linked Learning, the model for the Golden State Pathways program, delivers powerful student outcomes. It also seamlessly blends college preparation with career technical learning for students of all abilities—providing them with a full range of community experiences and supports so all are prepared to pursue college and career after graduating high school. In other words, we know it’s possible to achieve real coherence throughout the learning journey, and we are determined to see it happen at scale.

We are grateful for Governor Newsom’s outstanding leadership in protecting investments like these, which will generate benefits spanning education, community, and economy. As we move forward in a landscape dramatically changed by the pandemic, and put these investments to work, let us continue to act with intention in the interests of each young person, as well as the future of our workforce and communities. With Golden State Pathways, dual enrollment, and community schools, California is poised to make it happen and set the course for educational excellence and economic justice, for generations to come.