Assemblymember Al MuratsuchiSACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Assemblymember Muratsuchi (D – Torrance) led an effort to protect career technical education (CTE) in the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. The subcommittee unanimously voted to 1) establish CTE as a state priority in high schools and 2) to ensure that local education agencies continue to provide regionally coordinated CTE through Regional Occupation Centers/Programs (ROCPs) beyond the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

This is the latest in a series of efforts initiated by Muratsuchi to protect CTE funding and save ROCPs. Muratsuchi, Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, held a hearing today to discuss the future of CTE and took action to make it a state priority. Last week, the Assemblymember circulated an online petition asking Californians to join him in urging the Governor to save ROCPs like the renowned Southern California Regional Occupation Center, more commonly known as SoCal ROC. Local chambers of commerce, school districts and other stakeholder groups joined the effort and Muratsuchi has received over 1,600 petitions, to date.

“I am not surprised at the overwhelming support from Californians to save SoCal ROC because ROCPs are an asset to students and businesses throughout the state,” said Assemblymember Muratsuchi. “I am urging Governor Brown to save these vital programs and centers indefinitely.”

Last year, under Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget, ROCPs were at risk of losing their funding and having to shut down. In response, Assemblymember Muratsuchi and other legislators were able to craft a temporary budget fix that kept them operating for at least two more years. However, dedicated funding is set to expire by July 2015, and without a dedicated funding stream, these programs will have no certainty and are susceptible to budget cuts.

In the event that Governor Brown does not set aside dedicated funding for CTE programs, Muratsuchi has also introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 2216, which would provide annual appropriations from the General Fund for ROCPs to provide high-quality CTE services.

“Either legislatively or through the budget, the ultimate goal is to save CTE programs and ensure that centers like SoCal ROC remain open for many more years to come,” concluded Muratsuchi.

Muratsuchi urges the public to submit petitions before the Governor enacts the final budget this year. To view the Assemblymember’s petition to the Governor, please visit his website: .