Saturday, February 27, 2021

Governor Brown Eliminates Agricultural Education Incentive Grant in Budget

In his 2014-15 Revised State Budget released yesterday, Governor Brown continued his proposed elimination of funding for the Agricultural Education Incentive Grant, which supports high quality Agricultural Education standards in our public schools. This grant program is designed to provide matching funds for districts who commit to meeting state-approved program standards in Ag Education, including classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experience projects, and leadership training through the Future Farmers of America (FFA) student organization.

The Agricultural Education Incentive Grant currently supports local Ag Education programs and FFA activities in over 300 high schools statewide, with over 76,000 students enrolled in programs offered in a wide variety of urban, suburban, and rural settings. Students enrolled in these programs are representative of California’s social and ethnic diversity, with Hispanic students making up 51% of current Ag Education enrollment, while 35% identify as Caucasian.

‚ÄúWe are extremely disappointed that Governor Brown has ignored the groundswell of support coming from both legislative and grassroots sources voicing support for continuing Ag Education funding in California, the leading agricultural-producing state in the nation‚ÄĚ said Jim Aschwanden, Executive Director of the California Agricultural Teachers‚Äô Association. ‚ÄúThe Governor had an opportunity to exhibit an awareness of the importance of a vibrant, sustainable agricultural industry to our state‚Äôs economy, but chose not to address this important issue within his May Revise. His continued lack of support for high quality, rigorous program standards sends a clear message to school districts that agriculture education programs are not important for the future of our state economy‚ÄĚ.

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