Save California FFA

Thank you for supporting #SaveFFA! We hope this information will be valuable as we fight for FFA programs and activities. 

Here's what's happening

  • The California Department of Education recently eliminated the Regional Supervisor position in the Superior Region as part of a "reorganization" of the agency. This action cut services and support for over 9,500 FFA members in the region who depend upon their Regional FFA Advisor to coordinate leadership conferences, Regional FFA Officer functions, Sectional Career Development Events, and other leadership and awards recognition activities.  This regional position has existed for over 60 years, providing much needed technical assistance and professional development coordination for Ag Education throughout Northern California.


  • This loss is now affecting other regions in California as well, since remaining Ag Education staff have been pressed to cover duties once completed by the Superior Region FFA Advisor.  State Finals contests, curriculum development, and other essential activities are now spread among staff increasingly challenged to provide service for record numbers of FFA members and agricultural programs within their own region.  FFA membership is at an all-time high in California - and we have the fewest number of regional staff in our history on hand to serve those students and programs.  


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why were 10 positions, including the Ag Education position cut at this time?

No one really knows for sure.  California Department of Education (CDE) staff, including Superintendent Tom Torlakson, have not responded to any calls, letters, or emails from students, teachers, or supporters who have sent queries to his office. In addition, CDE has not responded to direct inquiries from State Legislators on this matter.

2. Was this action due to budget cuts?

No.  Federal funds provide virtually all of the funding to support Career Technical Education positions at CDE.  Approximately $113 million dollars comes to California, and 15 % of those funds can be used for State Administration and Leadership.  California was notified of a slight reduction in funding, which resulted in a net reduction for CDE operations of less than $70,000 - which accounts for about ½ of one position.  CDE eliminated 10 positions as part of this reorganization.  The reduction in Perkins allocations did not justify the severity of these cuts. 

3. Was this action due to a drop in enrollment in Ag Education or other CTE programs?

No. Ag Enrollment is at an all-time high in California.  Over the past 20 years, enrollment in Ag Education has doubled.  Since 2008, overall Career Technical Education (CTE) enrollment in California has also increased.  According to CDE's own published enrollment report, overall CTE enrollment has jumped from 586,000 students in 2008 to over 959,000 in 20016.  CTE staff and services are being eliminated just as enrollment is surging.

4. Were stakeholders like the Statewide Ag Education Advisory Committee consulted?

No.  The Advisory Committee, charged with advising the Superintendent of Instruction on matters related to Ag Education, was not consulted prior to this action, and have been unsuccessful in obtaining a meeting with Superintendent Torlakson since this action occurred.  He has never met with this committee during his tenure in office. 

5. How many students are affiliated with other CTE Organizations like SkillsUSA, FBLA, HOSA, etc.?

At the present time, total membership in Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) stands at approximately 115,000 students statewide.  Of that total, FFA accounts for nearly 90,000 of those students.  FFA membership and activities simply dwarf all of the other program areas combined. 

6. Has Torlakson attended a statewide FFA event to see the magnitude and impact of the program?

They have certainly been invited, but neither Superintendent Torlakson nor his staff have attended any statewide FFA events.  Superintendent Torlakson has been extended an invitation for the past seven years, but for the past three years has not even given FFA members the courtesy of a response to those invitations.

Take Action

Share

Click on the social media icons above and share the #SaveFFA posts on our social media outlets.Tell others why it's important to save the California FFA. 

Contact

Contact State Superintendent 

of Public Instruction (SPI), Tom 

Torlakson via email at Superintendent@cde.ca.gov. Share why FFA and Career Technical Education (CTE) is important. 

Advocate

Contact your legislator, remind them why FFA is important and encourage them to contact SPI Torlakson regarding this matter. 

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Contact Us

California Agricultural Teachers' Association

Jaschwanden@CalAgTeachers.org

(209) 744-1605

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