Democratic Assemblymember Warren Furutani wrote the bill. He says it's aimed at preparing students for careers of the 21st Century.
"We're looking at computer arts, green technology."
Furutani says career tech classes won't just help make students more employable… he hopes they'll prevent them from dropping out.
"For those students that are trying to find some way of staying in school. And if this is a way of piquing their interest and keeping them there, that's what our effort is all about."
But critics say the benefit of career tech courses could come at the expense of the arts and foreign languages.
"We wouldn't ask a student to choose between math and science."
Joe Landon is with the non-profit California Alliance for Arts Education.
"The amount of research that is rolling in now clearly documents that arts education is at the core of what students need to be adequately prepared to enter the workforce. So the notion that somehow a career tech course would somehow better prepare them for that is an assumption we don't agree with."
The bill now goes to Governor Schwarzenegger, who is a longtime advocate of carreer tech education. He says he benefitted from it when he studied to be a salesman as teenager in Austria.