The national executive director of AVID, a successful college preparatory program for students in the middle, vowed Tuesday to continue a strong operation in California, in spite of Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto last month of $8.1 million in state funding for it.
“It’s going to be painful at times, but we are going to make it work; there is too much at stake not to,” Jim Nelson told 2,700 teachers and counselors, half from California, at the organization’s Summer Institute in Sacramento.
Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, encourages B to C grade students to rise to academic challenges by teaching them study skills and critical thinking, as well as building self-confidence and trust. Now, it will face its own challenge, the biggest since it was founded 32 years ago in a San Diego high school and spread to 48 states. The $8.1 million ran the state AVID center and 11 regional centers whose 55 trainers and coordinators provided support for districts and school sites. Cutting the money won’t necessarily threaten local programs; other states run AVID without regional centers, though none operates AVID on the scale of California. But it will add to districts’ costs and may force each to duplicate services they have depended on county offices of education to offer.