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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #24-32
May 31, 2024
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

Governor Gavin Newsom, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announce Grant Awards for Golden State Pathways Program

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: California is releasing new funding to improve opportunities for students and prepare them for the workforce of tomorrow through the Golden State Pathways Program (GSPP).

SACRAMENTO—Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced the awarding of $470 million to 302 local educational agencies (LEAs) from the GSPP, which integrates college preparatory coursework meeting the A–G course requirements for admission to state universities and the opportunity to earn 12 college credits with career exploration, career technical education courses, and work-based learning. The program also helps students identify high-need opportunities in their regions and aligns their higher education and career goals with the jobs needed in their communities.

The GSPP provides LEAs with resources to promote pathways for students in high-wage, high-skill, high-growth areas including technology, health care, education, and climate-related fields, which allows students to advance seamlessly from high school to college and career and provides the workforce needed for economic growth.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “Every student in California deserves the opportunity to build real-life skills and pursue the careers they want. This funding will be a game-changer for thousands of students as the state invests in pathways to good-paying, high-need careers—including those that don’t require college degrees.”

WHAT STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION THURMOND SAID: “By establishing career technical pathways that are also college preparatory, the Golden State Pathways Program provides a game-changing opportunity for California’s young people. I am very proud of today’s investment. Creating pathways that are truly both college-bound and career-ready shows our students that career exploration is all about opening doors and expanding possibilities. I look forward to seeing our students gain entry to competitive wages and thriving futures.”

WHAT STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION PRESIDENT LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND SAID: “I am grateful to Governor Newsom, the Legislature, and State Superintendent Thurmond for prioritizing this funding and recognizing that we need to expand engaging high school programs that build strong pathways for young people to jobs in high-growth sectors important to our state, like teaching, green technologies and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, and the health professions. We have evidence that these programs can bring purpose and excitement to high school learning, accompanied by higher graduation rates and streamlined paths to college and careers. They can transform life options for our most vulnerable youth while helping to transform our state’s economy for the 21st century.”

WHAT THIS MEANS: Of the $470 million awarded today, $422 million was awarded to LEAs in the form of implementation grants slated to support the grant recipient’s ability to offer participating pupils high-quality college and career pathways opportunities. The GSPP integrates college preparatory coursework meeting the A–G course requirements for admission to state universities and the opportunity to earn 12 college credits with career exploration, CTE courses, and work-based learning.

The remaining nearly $48 million went to LEAs in the form of consortium development and planning grants. These grants are to support collaborative planning between a grant recipient and their program partners in the development of high-quality college and career pathways opportunities.

GOLDEN STATE PATHWAYS PROGRAM BACKGROUND: The GSPP is the result of funding included in the 2022 Budget Act passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom.

The program was established to do all of the following:

  • Promote pathways in high-wage, high-skill, high-growth areas, including (but not limited to) technology, health care, education (including early education and child development), and climate-related fields.
  • Encourage collaboration between LEAs, institutions of higher education, local and regional employers, and other relevant community interest holders to develop or expand the availability of innovative college and career pathways that simultaneously align with an LEA’s local or regional labor market needs.
  • Enable more pupils to access postsecondary education opportunities and workforce training opportunities or to obtain gainful employment in an industry that simultaneously aligns with local, regional, or state labor market needs.
  • Support the continued development of a skilled and educated workforce with an emphasis on addressing areas of acute statewide need, such as developing a diverse workforce to meet the need for professional and learning support positions in child care settings; preschools; and schools maintaining prekindergarten, kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive.

This program is in alignment with the Governor’s Master Plan for Career Education External link opens in new window or tab., which will align and simplify the TK–12, university, and workforce systems in California to support greater access to education and jobs for all Californians, and with the State Superintendent’s efforts to connect California’s students with high-wage, high-growth career paths through high-quality career education opportunities.

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Monday, June 03, 2024
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