ACTE Techniques October 2011 : Page 14

Q & A An with Stone Serif Interview 18pt/Pantone 293CV Louise Stymeist, President of California ACTE certain categories of folks, so there’s one representative in the special services area. ACTE: As someone out there on the ground in California, what is the state of CTE there? Are things as bad as we sometimes hear? LS: I think the answer to that is yes and no, because the state funding for CTE is what we call “in flex.” It’s consid -ered flexible funding now. It’s one of the categories where districts can choose how to spend the money, so they don’t have to spend it on CTE any longer. It’s different everywhere. Some places have been hit hard because the district has elected not to earmark that money for CTE anymore, or they’ve elected to significantly cut the amount of money that’s being spent on CTE—particularly the adult education programs. The adult education CTE programs have been hit very, very hard because adult education is also in flex. K-12 districts are more focused on get -ting kids to graduate, so adult education has lost a lot of money that is now being put into a general fund for districts. In my particular district, our money actually comes through the county. Sacramento County has been incredibly helpful in saying to the districts, “ROP [Regional Occupational Program] money needs to be spent for career and technical educa-tion, and if you’re not going to spend it for that then you just need to give it back to us.” They have really held the line. Although we’ve had huge cuts, almost 33 percent in the last five years, we definitely still have some funding coming in. We’ve been able to actually continue to grow programs. I have the highest amount of FTE [full-time equivalent] than I’ve ever run this year, but it’s scary-lean. If Stymeist talks about her new appointment to the California Committee on Teacher Credentials, and career and technical eduation funding in her state. ACTE: You’ve been appointed a commissioner on the California Committee on Teacher Credentials by Governor Brown. Tell us about the commission. Why was it cre-ated, and what are its goals? LS: I don’t pretend to know a lot about it, because it’s a very recent appointment, but it is the oldest independent creden-tialing commission in the United States, around since the 1970s. We are responsi -ble for the process of credentialing teach -ers in the state of California, accrediting institutions that give out teacher creden -tials, and all of those things relating to credentialing in the state. ACTE: What do you hope to achieve in your position as a new commissioner? LS: I come in really just wanting to serve this profession that I truly, truly love, and really hoping to represent the teachers and the institutions that provide what we call “special services” credentials in the state; career and technical educa -tion (CTE) credentials are part of that category. ACTE: Are you the only com-missioner on the committee that directly has experience with CTE? LS: To my knowledge, yes, and that is typical. The commission is made up of 14 Techniques OCTOBER 2011

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