New Law Allows School Districts to Offer Career Technical Education Courses That Count Towards High School Graduation

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
December 2011
Number 82

Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, school districts may elect to offer career technical education (CTE) courses as an alternative to the high school graduation visual or performing arts or foreign language course requirements. Under the new law, schools that do not currently offer CTE courses are not required to implement new CTE programs.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1330 amends Education Code section 51225.3 to allow CTE courses to serve as an alternative to the performing arts or foreign language courses that are currently required for high school graduation. AB 1330 specifies that in order to qualify, a CTE course must be part of a district-operated CTE program that is aligned with model curriculum standards and framework adopted by the State Board of Education. This can include CTE courses offered through a regional occupational center, or programs operated by a county superintendent of schools or pursuant to a joint powers agreement.

The governing board of a school district electing to offer CTE courses under AB 1330 must, at a regularly scheduled board meeting, provide parents, teachers, students and the public with notice of its intent to offer these courses to fulfill graduation requirements and discuss the impact that offering these courses will have on the availability of courses that meet California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) admission requirements. The governing board must also discuss the distinction, if any, between the district's graduation requirements and CSU and UC admission requirements and whether or not the offered CTE courses will satisfy CSU and UC admissions requirements.

AB 1330 also amends Education Code section 48980 by requiring that participating school districts include the following information in their annual notice to parents: (1) information about their district's high school graduation requirements and how each requirement satisfies, or does not satisfy, subject matter requirements for admission to the CSU and the UC; and (2) a complete list of the CTE courses offered by their district that satisfy CSU and UC admission requirements, and which of the specific college admission requirements these courses satisfy.

The California Department of Education will be tracking AB 1330's impact on foreign language and performing arts studies, and the law is currently due to sunset based on the occurrence of certain contingencies. Our firm will be tracking any proposed legislation impacting this new law.

For any questions about AB 1330 or career technical education in general, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide, visit our website, or follow Lozano Smith on Facebook.
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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.