Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CTE Frequently Asked Questions


California Department of Education and the Office of Public School Construction Career Technical Education (CTE) Facilities Program Education Code §§ 17078.70 et seq.; 2 C.C.R. §§ 1859.190 et seq.

  1. Who is eligible to apply for funding?

    Per Education Code 17078.72, local educational agencies (LEAs) operating a comprehensive high school pursuant to Education Code sections 51224, 51225.3, and 51228 and having an active career technical advisory committee pursuant to Education Code section 8070 may apply for new construction grants or modernization grants. A joint power authority (JPA) operating a career technical education program as of May 20, 2006 and having an active career technical advisory pursuant to Education Code section 8070 may apply for a modernization grant.

  2. What is a comprehensive high school?

    A comprehensive high school is a school offering at least grades ten through twelve and that complies with Education Code sections 51224, 51225.3, and 51228. An authorized LEA representative certifies in the application that these conditions are met.

  3. Are court schools, community day schools, alternative schools, school district-operated charter schools, continuation schools, and county offices of education eligible to apply for funding?

    Court schools, community day schools, alternative schools, district-operated charter schools, and county offices of education may apply if they meet the requirements listed above.

  4. What are the requirements for using CTEFP funds on a leased property?

    If it is leasing its CTE program facilities in accordance with SFP Regulation Section 1859.22. This section states:

    In addition to meeting the requirements of Sections 1859.20 and 1859.21 or 1859.120, a district may receive SFP funds for facilities that are or will be located on real property leased by the district provided all the following are met:

    • (a) The real property is leased from a governmental agency.

    • (b) The term of the lease for the land for which the district is requesting SFP funding at the time the Approved Application is accepted is one of the following:

      • (1) At least 25 years if the lease is for real property owned by the federal government.

      • (2) At least 40 years if the lease is for real property owned by a governmental agency other than the federal government.

      • (3) At least 30 years if the lease is for real property owned by a governmental agency other than the federal government and the district has certified to all the following:

        • (A) There are no other educationally adequate sites for new construction available under a 40-year lease.

        • (B) The cost per year to lease the real property for no less than 30 years is no greater than the cost per year to lease the real property for 40 years.

      • (4) At least 30 years if the lease is for real property owned by a governmental agency other than the federal government and the district has provided other evidence satisfactory to the Board that a shorter lease term is necessary.

    Additionally, the project must be on land that meets the standards for school sites as contained in California Code of Regulations Title 5, 14001 et seq.

  5. May an independently-operated charter school or county-operated regional occupational program (ROP) apply?

    Neither of these entities meets the requirements to submit an application; however, each may partner with a school district or other eligible agency that is applying.

  6. May a Regional Occupational Center and Programs (ROCP) that is legally constituted as a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) apply for funding?

    Yes, a legally constituted JPA ROCP operating a career technical education (CTE) program that was in existence on or before May 20, 2006, with an active CTE Advisory Committee, may apply for modernization and equipment funding only (i.e., not new construction funding). (See Education Code Section 17078.72(f) and School Facility Program Regulation Section 1859.192).

  7. May a single school district ROCP apply for bond funding?

    Yes, a school district operating a ROCP may apply for bond funding at a comprehensive high school for use by the district-operated CTE program or the district-operated ROCP program, or both.

  8. Can a middle school apply?

    If the comprehensive high school consists of grades seven through twelve, on the same campus, it may apply. A separate-site middle school is not eligible to receive funding.

  9. Can two comprehensive high schools in the same district, whose students jointly use a CTE training location on one of the campuses, apply for funds?

    The district is the applicant, and it applies for funding at the one campus with the CTE training site. The applicant may describe any unique conditions in the application, and the other school without the training location on its campus may indicate its partner-support in the application.

  10. May an applicant submit for multiple projects?

    Yes, an applicant may apply for funds for one or more projects per site. Each project must be associated with only one of the fifteen CTE industry sectors and one or more of the associated pathways recognized by the California Department of Education (CDE). A list of the fifteen CDE approved sectors, and the pathways associated with each, is located in Appendix D of the CTE Facilities Application.

    The industry sectors must also pertain to courses with California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) codes (7000-8999) as indicated on the CDE CTE CALPADS Web site (XLS) . 

  11. What is the LEA's application procedure for multiple comprehensive school sites, each requesting the same sector project?

    Grant applications must be submitted "per project, per site;" therefore, a separate application must be submitted for each site. However, since it is the same sector being addressed at all the sites, the applicant can use one CTE Advisory Committee representing the industry-specific sector to justify the need for the project. The CTE Plan can be similar for each site; however, since each site will undoubtedly have different physical needs, the CTE Plan must address, and the CTE Advisory Committee must discuss, review and approve each site specifically, and this must be clearly noted in the CTE Plan. Schematics/diagrams must be site-specific.

  12. What is the LEA's application procedure for one building, housing multiple sector projects (i.e. one site with four sector projects within)?

    In this scenario, there are four different sectors being addressed; therefore, four sector-specific Advisory Committees are required, one for each sector. For example, auto industry representatives would be required for the auto sector, and construction industry representatives would be required for the construction sector. Each Advisory Committee must review and approve the CTE Plan for each sector; therefore, a separate CTE Plan and application is required for each sector. Since all sector projects will be housed in one building, the facility plans (schematics, diagrams) can be the same for each application. Please highlight the sector being addressed on the diagram for each application specify the amount of square footage dedicated to each sector. The LEA should be aware that each application will be considered and scored for the CTE score separately. Since funding is a competitive process, it is possible one or more sector applications may not be approved.

    Funding order is determined by the Office of Public School Construction following School Facility Program Regulations. Per regulation, projects will be ordered based on the CTE plan score and locale of each application.

  13. What are the maximum grant amounts?

    Grants are limited to the criteria prescribed in Education Code Section 17078.72, summarized as follows:

    1. New construction: $3,000,000 per project, per school site, inclusive of equipment, to comprehensive high schools with an active CTE Advisory Committee:

      1. For a stand-alone project.

      2. For new school projects.

    2. Modernization: $1,500,000 per project, per school site, inclusive of equipment, to comprehensive high schools or joint powers authorities currently operating CTE programs and having an active CTE Advisory Committee.

      PLEASE NOTE: Projects that previously received CTEFP funding under Proposition 1D may apply provided the project did not receive the maximum funding amounts described above.

      For example, if a project received $2 million of new construction CTEFP funds under Proposition 1D, then it would only be eligible for another $1 million under the Proposition 51 CTEFP.

  14. What projects are eligible to apply for funding?

    Applicants may apply for funding for future CTE projects or for reimbursement of an existing or completed CTE project that did not already receive CTE funding as noted above. Newly constructed CTE classrooms or facilities that were occupied on or after May 20, 2006 are eligible to apply as a new construction project. For modernization projects of existing CTE classrooms or facilities may be eligible if the contract for the work was executed on or after May 20, 2006.

  15. Education Code Section 17078.72 calls for applicants to have an active CTE Advisory Committee per Education Code Section 8070. Education Code Section 8070 requires the governing board of a school district to appoint a CTE Advisory Committee requiring membership of several named representatives. May the applicant-school use the district Advisory Committee for this purpose, or must the comprehensive high school establish a separate and unique committee?

    The applicant-school may use the district Advisory Committee or establish its own committee; however, membership on the committee must include the required members as stipulated in both Education Code Section 8070 plus the required members as stipulated in Education Code 17078.72(i)(3).

  16. How is "active" defined in the above requirement for an Advisory Committee?

    For the purposes of this grant application, "active" means that the CTE Advisory Committee is constituted at the time the applicant submits its application to the CDE.

  17. What must be addressed in the "CTE Plan"?

    Please carefully review Element 1, Items A, B, C, and D of the CDE Grant Application. Additional information can be provided; however, every item in Element 1, Items A, B, C, and D must be addressed.

  18. Will small, rural schools have an equal chance of obtaining funding as large, urban schools?

    Yes, equitable distribution of funded projects throughout the state is a goal consistent with the purpose of the Act. Bond funds are intended to be awarded based on high school enrollments in the eleven County Superintendent Service Regions and per rural, suburban, and urban status. The Application Guidelines contain a County Superintendent Service Region map. The OPSC will use the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to determine the local designation of rural, suburban, or urban. The information is found on the NCES Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

    To determine your locale using NCES, refer to How to Determine Your Locale Using National Center for Education Statistics External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

    For additional information about the distribution of funds in each funding cycle, please refer to SFP Regulation sections 1859.195 and 1859.196 External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

  19. Will funding for multi-purpose rooms, computer labs, or theaters be approved?

    Funds may only be granted if the primary purpose of the grant application is directly focused, and uniquely related, to a CTE specific industry sector program. Advisory Committee approval must reinforce that aspect of the application. General-purpose auditoriums, multi-purpose rooms, general-purpose labs, etc are not CTE specific training programs and will not be funded.

  20. Can CTE bond funds be used to construct, modernize or remodel facilities for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, such as access ramps, or additional special needs parking facilities, etc.?

    Career Technical Educational Facilities Program (CTEFP) funds may be used to meet the minimum requirements for access compliance as determined by the Division of the State Architect's (DSA). No additional funds are available for access compliance and all cost must be covered within the CTE grant.

  21. Is an applicant expected to submit detailed architectural designs at the time of the grant application to CDE and the funding application to OPSC?

    A general or initial preliminary plan is appropriate for the application; however, the plans must be of sufficient detail so that the grant reviewers are able to clearly judge the project or equipment as an appropriate CTE proposal. A clear, well-developed plan and application will make it easier for the reviewers to understand the application's intent. For specific information about the schematics/plans, contact the School Facilities Planning Division at CDE or OPSC.

  22. Can bond funds be used to modernize a facility at a non-district owned off-school site (i.e. at an auto dealership where an automotive technology class is taught, or at a hospital where a nursing class is taught)?

    No, funds may only be expended on projects or equipment at comprehensive high schools, and/or facilities owned by, or under a long-term lease agreement with a government entity, by a school district, or JPA and must meet Title 5 Regulations, Sections 14001 et seq.

  23. Education Code Section 17078.72(a) stipulates that requested equipment have an average useful life expectancy of at least ten years. What does this mean?

    The equipment must have a useful life span of at least ten years, as indicated by the manufacturer and supported by the Advisory Committee. For example, this precludes spending funds on computers (which ordinarily are outdated and not useful before ten years elapses), unless the computer is just part of a larger item, such as a computer-driven lathe. The documentation for the life span of the equipment must be kept by the district for potential audit purposes.

  24. Can a computer that is intended to only run a specific software application, or be used for a specific training purpose, utilizing specific industry-unique technology, be purchased?

    The law is clear that the average useful life expectancy of equipment purchased with bond funds must be at least ten years regardless of what software application or technology it is running. A computer, even if it will be used solely for the purpose of a specific sector, does not have an average useful life expectancy of at least ten years.

  25. Is there a funding amount limitation on equipment?

    Funding requests for CTE equipment are only limited by the maximum grant amounts described in Education Code sections 17078.72(e) and (f). (See response to Question 14 above.)  An equipment request, up to these limits, is acceptable provided it enhances the CTE educational opportunities of students and meets all the other criteria in the grant application.

  26. If an application is for equipment only, what determines if the project is New Construction or Modernization for the purposes of calculating the maximum grant amount?

    The determination shall be made based on the occupancy date of the facility being equipped. If the CTE facility was occupied before May 20, 2006, the project will be considered Modernization. If the equipment is being purchased for a CTE facility that was occupied on or after May 20, 2006, the project will be considered New Construction.

  27. Is furniture an eligible expenditure for CTEFP funds?

    Yes, if it is directly related to enhancing the CTE educational opportunities of students, to the CTE program, and/or necessary to operate, house, or hold any CTE equipment which currently exists or will be purchased (i.e., stands for CTE equipment, tables, workbenches, chairs/stools for auto labs, etc.). Like equipment, furniture must also have an average useful life expectancy of at least ten years. General-purpose furniture, not directly related to a CTE function or program, will not be eligible for funding.

  28. How is the "capital cost per pupil" calculated?

    All costs associated with the instructional program should be figured into the amount. The applicant shall describe the rationale and method used to obtain the figure. Calculations should be relevant to industry standards where feasible. Note: A high-cost program will not be considered a negative factor for scoring purposes.

  29. Must the "match" meet the same guidelines as the requirements for the grant funds?

    Yes, all match funds must be expended for the approved and intended purpose of the bond application. The match must be a cash match, not in-kind.

  30. Can the following be used for match?

    Based on Education Code Section 17078.72(g)(1) "A school district shall contribute from local resources a dollar amount that is equal to the amount of the grant of state funds... The required local contribution may be provided by private industry groups, the school district or a joint powers authority." The district’s match shall not be provided from any funds from another state or federal program.

    Perkins funds: No

    ROCP funds: Only funds from capital outlay and equipment replacement reserves associated with the project may be used.

    CTE Equipment Grant under Assembly Bill 1802: No

    CTE Incentive Grant Program: No

    CTE Pathways Trust Program: No

    CTE Initiative Program: No

    Private business and industry donations: Yes

    Other: Other funds may be used if they are not restricted or limited for any other purpose.

    The match may also be obtained through a loan. Visit the Office of Public School Construction website External link opens in new window or tab. for further information.

  31. If a school is not funded in the current round, can they resubmit in the next available round?

    Yes, applicants who are unsuccessful in the first round are encouraged to consult with CDE to determine what areas can be strengthened in their application to improve their chance of success in a subsequent submission. For any Career Technical Education Facilities Program funding application not apportioned, the application shall be returned to the applicant

    The applicant may be resubmitted the funding application to the Office of Public School Construction during a subsequent funding application acceptance period, provided the application meets the eligibility criteria. (See SAB Regulation Section 1859.196). A new CTE score letter from CDE is not required. A higher value may make it more competitive in a future round. 

  32. If an LEA is funded and the actual expenses are less than originally proposed in the application, is the LEA allowed to retain savings from a project?

    No, savings, or unexpended bond funds, must be returned to the OPSC and added to the CTE bond "pot" for future distribution per SFP regulation Section 1859.199.

  33. There is a space on the Cover Page asking for "number of Teaching Stations". What does this mean? Current? Future?

    The "number of teaching stations" is the number of teaching stations to be in the project.

  34. How do we handle contingencies for construction overruns?

    Grant funding is capped by project. All construction costs must be handled within the approved project grant amount. Cost overruns are the responsibility of the applicant.

  35. If I reconfigure/modernize an existing Minimum Essential Facility (gym, library, or multipurpose room) can I use CTE funds to replace the Minimum Essential Facilities (MEF)?

    Reconfiguring an existing school building must not displace a MEF. In any case involving the replacement of a MEF due to the reconfiguration of an existing building, the replacement must be part of the plans submitted in support of the Career Technical Education Facilities Application, must occur concurrently, and cannot be part of a School Facilities Program application for new construction.

  36. If I will be adding only air conditioning to a building containing four shops/sectors, can I streamline the application down so I don't need to write to all the elements?

    No, the application needs to be filled out in its entirety.

  37. Can a district use CTEFP funds to purchase a tractor or a truck?

    A tractor that will be used on site would be allowable, a truck would not. Allowable equipment under this program must be connected directly to the career technical education classroom or teaching area. Equipment, like a tractor, is allowable because it benefits the student's learning experience directly. A truck has many uses beyond CTE and is therefore not permitted.

  38. A JPA ROP is considering expanding facilities by using the unused elementary school across the street. Will the project qualify?

    Under Education Code Section 17078.72, a JPA ROP only qualifies for modernization grants, so new buildings being constructed would not qualify. Only modernizing existing buildings or equipment qualifies for grants.

    For school districts intending to expand a school site, please contact your SFPD field representative first. The site addition must meet Title 5 Regulations for safety and security before proceeding with the project. Site acquisition funds are not provided in the CTE program.

  39. I have a room behind a stage in a small theater for video production. The heat generated from the digital editing equipment and computer causes the equipment to overheat and shut down. Can I use CTE funds to put in an air-conditioning unit in that space?

    You may apply for CTEFP bond funds to modernize that space to incorporate an air-conditioning unit. However, the requirements for securing bond funds are fairly complex and time-consuming for a small improvement such as an air-conditioning unit. Other sources of funds may be more suitable for this type of request. Possible other funds may be district CTE funds. For other possible sources of funding contact Michelle McIntosh at 916-327-6367 or by email at mmcintosh@cde.ca.gov

  40. Are mobile food trucks considered an allowable expense?

    No, a food truck is not a facility. Additionally, only a limited number of students are able to use the instructional space at one time.

  41. Are shared spaces (i.e. makerspaces) considered an allowable expense?

    No, while these types of spaces provide flexibility for a multitude of uses, they are not typically designed to support a specific industry sector or pathway.

  42. What about band uniforms as equipment?

    No, band uniforms are not considered equipment for the purposes of this grant.

  43. When is an applicant required to demonstrate the matching funds?

    For purposes of the local match, the applicant is not required to have the full match “in the bank” at the time of fund release. In order to receive the funds, the applicant must complete and submit a valid Fund Release Authorization (Form SAB 50-05) after receiving an apportionment from the State Allocation Board. This form requires the applicant to certify to the following:

    Part IX. Career Technical Education Facilities Projects
    The district certifies that its applicable matching share has either:

    • been deposited in the County School Facility Fund.
    • has already been expended by the district for the project.
    • will be expended by the district prior to the Notice of Completion for the project.

    For additional information on the Form SAB 50-05 and other program forms, please visit the OPSC website External link opens in new window or tab..

Questions: John Gordon | jgordon@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-0575 
Last Reviewed: Monday, October 30, 2017