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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #13-100
October 3, 2013
Contact: Lara Azar
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Torlakson Teams with Community Colleges and Nonprofit Partner to Direct $7.5 Million to Linked Learning Programs

SACRAMENTO—More than 600,000 high school students will see the benefits of a new partnership among the state, community colleges, and the James Irvine Foundation that will direct $7.5 million toward Linked Learning, which provides students with the real-world experience to prepare for college and careers, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

State funds of $2 million will be matched by a $2.5 million grant from the James Irvine Foundation, along with $3.3 million that the California Community Colleges will direct to campuses participating in the state's Linked Learning pilot program. Each of 20 Linked Learning pilot sites that Torlakson announced last January will receive an $80,000 grant. The remaining $400,000 will be used for pilot-wide activities.

"Part of preparing students for the world outside our classrooms is answering the question, 'When will I use this in real life?'" Torlakson said. "Linked Learning is one approach to achieving that goal, by combining rigorous academics, technical training, and workplace experiences, providing students a seamless path to follow through their schooling and into their careers. That's going to create a brighter future for these young people and our state."

The state Linked Learning Pilot Program was established by Assembly Bill 790, sponsored by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in 2011. The California Department of Education chose the first 20 participants in the program in January, based on competitive criteria. The state funding, meanwhile, is available through Senate Bill 1070, a bill authored by Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg in 2012. SB 1070 extends funding for California's Career Technical Pathway Program and gives funding priority to programs using the Linked Learning approach. The 20 Linked Learning Pilot sites are individual school districts; consortia of school districts; or consortia of districts, county offices of education, and other partners.

"The California Community Colleges share the commitment to better prepare young people for success in college, career, and life," said Brice Harris, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges. "California's community colleges are strategic partners in the pilot program. Our colleges support all efforts to create seamless career pathways that extend from high schools through our own certificate and degree programs, and into careers in sectors important to our regions."

The James Irvine Foundation grant of $2.5 million will fund ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career to provide direct technical assistance for the Linked Learning pilot sites.

"We are deeply committed to helping schools and communities provide quality Linked Learning opportunities for students," said Anne Stanton, James Irvine Foundation program director for youth. "We are excited that our grant will help Linked Learning improve equity for all California students, and will create opportunities for students to graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and career. We are pleased to partner with the state to support the pilot districts in their efforts to implement Linked Learning to its fullest."

"We are very excited to partner with the districts, county offices of education, employers, and institutions of higher education that are participating in the Linked Learning Pilot," said Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEd. "The Linked Learning Pilot sites will have a strong base of support from our coaching staff and from districts that have already made Linked Learning a district-wide strategy. We will also help them take advantage of the wide array of tools and resources that have been developed and refined to help implement high quality Linked Learning pathways."

The school districts and county offices of education in the 20 Linked Learning pilot sites are listed below by region:

Bay Area Region

  • The Diablo Delta Corridor Project (D2CP) Consortium is a partnership of three school districts within Contra Costa County, with Antioch Unified School District serving as the mentor for the other districts in the consortium.
  • East Side Union High School District.
  • San Lorenzo Unified School District.
  • Santa Rosa City Schools.
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District.
  • Vallejo City Unified School District.

Central Coast Region

  • The Cabrillo College Santa Cruz County College Commitment (S4C) Consortium is a partnership of four school districts and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

Central Valley Region

  • The Tulare-Kings County Linked Learning Consortium is a partnership of seven school districts across both counties and is being led by the Tulare County Office of Education. Porterville Unified School District will mentor its fellow districts in the consortium.

Inland Empire Region

  • The Linked Learning San Bernardino Consortium is a partnership of five school districts within San Bernardino County and is led by the San Bernardino County Office of Education.
  • Palm Springs Unified School District.

Los Angeles Region

  • Antelope Valley Union High School District.
  • Centinela Valley Union High School District.
  • Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District.
  • Oxnard Union High School District.
  • Los Angeles County Office of Education.
  • Los Angeles Unified School District.

Sacramento Valley Region

  • The Capital Region Academies for the Next Economy (CRANE) Consortium is a six-county regional partnership that includes Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yuba, Yolo, and Nevada counties, comprising 21 school districts and county offices of education.
  • Elk Grove Unified School District.
  • Sacramento City Unified School District.

San Diego Region

  • The Linked Learning San Diego Consortium is a partnership of five school districts within San Diego County and the Long Beach Unified School District, which is serving as a mentor to the other districts in the consortium.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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