Full funding cuts for CTE Filmmaking, Stagecraft Pathways: students, teachers taken aback


Isabella Prewitt

Film-making and Stagecraft CTE Pathway Badges.

Isabella Prewitt, Personality Section Editor

Buena’s administration received a Strong Workforce Program Report, published by the South Central Coast Regional Consortium, of what jobs are in high demand for Ventura County. According to the report the Filmmaking and Stagecraft CTE (Career and Technical Education) pathways were not in high demand for the workforce of Ventura County. As a result, these CTE pathways will be cut, but the courses will still be offered as elective options for students.

“One of the requirements [for a CTE pathway] is that it has to be a job that’s in high demand,” Aplund said. “You don’t want to train someone to do something that they can’t get a job in. It has to be high demand, and it has to pay well.”

This means that without the demand for workers in these industries, grants and funding will be cut within each district and school. For Buena, this means a full CTE funding cut for filmmaking and stagecraft courses. Even with Hollywood so close, the demand for workers within the industry was not high enough to save this program’s funding.

You don’t want to train someone to do something that they can’t get a job in. It has to be high demand, and it has to pay well,

— Audrey Asplund

“The Strong Workforce Program, South Central Coast Regional Consortium Organization gets a job report of the needs for Ventura County, and one of the pathway areas is called Arts, Media, and Entertainment and that came back with a low job prospect,” Asplund said.

Filmmaking teacher Amanda Graves has taught this class for several years and to see these opportunities, which were created by CTE pathways, taken away from the students has been a hard pill to swallow. 

“I won’t be able to grow the program anymore because of the funding cut,” Graves said. “I’m concerned that in about five years when that equipment starts to become outdated or when it starts to break down, there will be no funding to replace it.”

For the program itself, this will mean an immediate funding cut for the next school year. Graves expresses concern that this cut won’t affect current students as much as future ones. The CTE program funding has allowed previous classes to go on special field trips to learn more about the skill of film-making, an opportunity that will no longer be an option.

“This year, we’re going to be going to SBCC to take a look at their film production program and I don’t know if that will be an opportunity in the future,” Graves said. 

One of the biggest effects for this year’s students is that they will no longer receive the certificates after completing a CTE pathway. These certificates have allowed students to leave high school with a signed and approved certificate that lists an array of different skills the student has attained through these pathways. This opens plenty of opportunities that help to acquire careers.

Junior Emil Hernandez is a student enrolled in the Filmmaking program and has aspirations of becoming a director. Emil assists in leading his class where he helps produce Buena Today. These funding cuts affect him and his peers the most. 

“Before learning of the funding cut, we were trying to do the film festival. And it costs money to do trips like go to Universal, which is more of just the behind the scenes are not universal Warner Brothers, which is just a behind the scenes on how the industry is,” Hernandez said.

 Asplund explained that the funding comes mainly from outside the district, so there is little site administration can do besides helping staff and students acclimate to this change and be hopeful that students will still be drawn to these courses as elective classes. 

“Students that are drawn to Filmmaking are going to take it whether or not they get a certificate for the pathway,” Asplund said. “Students that are drawn to Stage Craft and enjoy being behind the scenes of a production. They’re going to do that.”