Editor’s Note — The California Department of Education announced today the first grant recipients under California’s $250 million Career Pathways Trust program, a program designed to support Linked Learning and other approaches that link rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. Many of the grants were awarded to Linked Learning pathways that have been developed with Irvine Foundation support. You can read the Department of Education's announcement and a news release from the Linked Learning Alliance. Anne Stanton, Irvine's Youth Program Director, provided the following response to the announcement:
We are thrilled that the Career Pathways Trust (CPT) funding will bring Linked Learning to more students across California. We will continue our ongoing commitment to Linked Learning as well, as we believe that it represents the most effective approach to prepare young people for the full range of future options. It long has been our vision that Linked Learning be available to any student who wants it, and the CPT funding brings us a big step closer to realizing that goal for California students.
It’s very encouraging that all nine of Linked Learning’s pioneering districts were awarded CPT funds to continue their excellent work, including those serving as mentor districts in the AB 790 Linked Learning pilot program. We also are excited that many new regions are committed to making Linked Learning a regionwide strategy, as our experience shows a regional approach is the most effective way to deliver on the promise of Linked Learning, especially the work-based learning components. We look forward to sharing with CPT funding recipients our experience and knowledge about how to ensure that Linked Learning is delivered equitably, with high quality and academic rigor.
Our sincere thanks goes to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and State Superintendent Tom Torlakson for their support and for recognizing the value of Linked Learning and integrating college and career readiness for all students, as well as to Governor Jerry Brown, for making the Career Pathways Trust funding available to regions across California. The CPT funding, in addition to the AB 790 pilots, demonstrate the state’s bipartisan commitment to building strong Linked Learning infrastructure across the state.
To the regions who were not awarded funding, we also promise to share our knowledge and encouragement. The number of regions that applied in this round shows the tremendous demand for Linked Learning, and the high-quality experience it provides for young people. We hope state leaders appreciate the broad and urgent need to continue support for the regional development of Linked Learning systems.