Long Beach's Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D-70) introduced a bill Monday that would increase funding for K-12 vocational/career technical education by $150 million.

That money would be in addition to the $300 million in ongoing money approved last year by the state legislature. O'Donnell's bill, AB 1303, also would align two existing programs in the state Department of Education to make it easier for school districts to apply for the voc/tech money.

"As a classroom teacher, I have seen firsthand how vocational programs engage students and guide them to success," O'Donnell said in a release. "Vocational or career technical programs prepare our students for lasting careers and strengthen our California workforce."

The bill now starts its way through the legislative process, and will be referred to its first policy committee soon.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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