(a) There is hereby created within the State Department of Education an agricultural career technical education unit to assist school districts in the establishment and maintenance of educational programs established pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(b) The staffing of the unit shall at all times be comprised of an appropriate number of full-time employees; provided, that any decrease in federal support of this staffing unit shall be applied in direct proportion to all other staffs so funded, including the State Supervisor of Agricultural Career Technical Education who shall, under the direction of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, assume responsibility for the administration of the state program adopted under this article throughout the public school system as well as the articulation of the state program to the requirements and mandates of federally assisted career technical education.
(c) An appropriate number of employees shall serve as program consultants in agricultural career technical education and shall be available to provide assistance to local school districts. To the extent that it is possible, the program consultants shall be geographically located in those areas most readily accessible to the school districts they assist. At least one consultant shall be responsible for the coordination of the state program. At least one consultant shall be responsible for the coordination of the activities of student agricultural organizations and associations.
(d) The State Department of Education shall accomplish the staffing of the agricultural career technical education unit in compliance with this article by reassigning priorities in staff assignments within the department in a manner that will not result in new costs to the state as a consequence.
(Amended by Stats 2000, Ch. 1058, Sec. 83)