The La Puente Valley Regional Occupational Program is scheduled to shut down June 30, 2019.
Established in 1970, the program operates pursuant to a joint powers agreement between the Bassett Unified School District, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, and Rowland Unified School District, as stated by the program’s website.
After 48 years, the program has received letters of withdrawal from from their three partner districts, according to John Howing, Superintendent for the LPVROP.
Howing said that instead of having a partnership among the three districts, the individual districts are going it alone.
“All the districts themselves already have these fantastic programs on their campuses and in their districts, they’re going to basically do it themselves,” Howing said.
He said that the students are going to see bigger and better programs from the districts themselves as a result of this move.
“It’s unfortunate, because we’ve been around since 1970, together as a partner, I’ve been here 39 of those years, but it’s time, and it’s just the way some of these things go,” Howing added.
Angela Pride, clerk for the Rowland Unified School district, said there is funding coming from other sources to help support these programs at a lesser cost.
“Meetings are going on with the chief business officers from Rowland Unified, Hacienda Unified and Bassett Unified to develop a plan about how we’re going to close out,” Pride said. “All the districts want to [keep] the programs that they have on their campuses, it’s just that they’ll be responsible as far as equipment and materials.”
In order to keep these programs, the Local Control Accountability Plan, which dictates the goals school districts are required to meet, now contains expectations for career and technical education classes.
CTE classes used to be the reason ROP was contracted, so that instructors were sent and equipment for the classes that would take place on the school district’s campuses were purchased.
Pride said that because of the new LCAP requirements, the K-12 school districts needed more instructors and equipment and would use this funding that was designated to support CTE programs.
“What we found is that the cost of paying the ROP, versus the cost of us doing it ourselves, it was cheaper to do it ourselves,” she added.
Once this was discovered, Rowland and Hacienda La Puente Unified School Districts started cutting classes that were being offered by the ROP, deciding to fund the classes themselves instead of paying the ROP to offer those classes.
Pride summarized the move as “cutting out the middle man" and added that other ROPs are being cut out of their districts as well.
Pride said she doubts that any programs might develop to unify CTE programs throughout the districts, but does feel as though community colleges are starting to fill that gap.
“I look forward to the K-12s partnering more with the community colleges to help them meet some of their needs,” she said. “Dr. Scroggins is all for anything we can do to help the K-12 and help the students by kind of creating a bridge for them, coming from high school to community college.”