Legislative Analyst's Office

Analysis of the 2001-02 Budget Bill

Military Department (8940)

The Military Department is responsible for the command and management of the California Army, Air National Guard, and four other related programs. To support the operations of a force of 23,000, the department maintains a headquarters complex in Sacramento, 127 armories, 33 equipment maintenance facilities, and 10 air bases throughout the state.

The missions of the National Guard are to provide combat-ready forces to the federal government at the direction of the President, to contribute emergency public safety support at the direction of the Governor, and to otherwise assist the community as directed.

The 2001-02 Governor's Budget proposes departmental expenditures of $538 million. Of that sum, $487 million would come from the federal government, although only $46.5 million in federal funds would be appropriated through the budget bill. The remainder of the federal funds are allocated directly to the National Guard by the federal government. The budget bill also authorizes $47.6 million from the state General Fund, an increase of $9.5 million, or 25 percent, in the budget year. The balance of the request ($3.7 million) is from reimbursements and a special fund.

Continue Cadet Corps Positions as Limited Term Until Evaluation is Complete

We recommend that the Legislature reject the Governor's budget proposal to make the California Cadet Corps (CACC) administrative positions permanent, because the Military Department has not submitted an evaluation demonstrating CACC program effectiveness.

Background. The CACC is a voluntary extracurricular program that serves about 6,500 middle and high school students in California schools. School districts are responsible for much of the implementation and maintenance of the program, with the National Guard providing uniforms, equipment, and statewide administration. Last year, the Governor's budget proposed $1.5 million from the General Fund, and six active duty positions to support and administer the program. The Legislature approved the funding, but made the positions limited term pending the results of an evaluation included in the budget proposal. At the time this analysis was prepared, the department had not submitted an evaluation.

Budget Proposal. The Governor's budget proposes to continue the funding for CACC and makes the six active duty positions permanent at a total cost of $588,000 to the General Fund.

Recommendation. Because the Military Department has not submitted an evaluation demonstrating the effectiveness of this program as required by the Legislature, we recommend that the Legislature continue to fund these positions on a limited-term basis only.

Oakland Military Institute Funds Available for Reappropriation

We recommend that the Legislature delete the $1.3 million proposed for the Oakland Military Institute (OMI). The OMI has not yet begun operations, therefore, an identical amount—which was appropriated in separate legislation for the current year—will be available for reappropriation in the budget year. (Reduce Item 8940-001-0001 by $1.3 million.)

Background. The 2000-01 Governor's Budget requested $1.3 million to allow the Military Department to provide staff support to a nonresidential military charter school in conjunction with the City of Oakland. While the academic curriculum was to be provided by civilian teachers, National Guard personnel were to provide military training and help instill classroom discipline. The OMI was intended to open in September 2000, with a first class of 162 7th graders. Each subsequent year, the plan was to add another class until it reached a capacity of 972 cadets in grades 7 through 12. The Legislature deleted the proposed funding from the budget bill, but provided a $1.3 million appropriation in Chapter 127, Statutes of 2000 (AB 2866, Migden). Chapter 127 further required that OMI provide a dollar for dollar match for the $1.3 million. The Department of Defense subsequently awarded OMI a $2 million federal grant that insures that it will be able to meet the state matching funds requirement.

The City of Oakland subsequently was unable to obtain approval for its charter petition from either the Oakland Unified School District or the Alameda County Office of Education. As a result, OMI's start date was postponed. The state Board of Education did approve OMI's charter petition, but required OMI to secure oversight from a local educational agency. The National Guard now projects that it will be able to accomplish these tasks in time to open OMI in September 2001 with the 162 7th graders originally proposed.

Budget Proposal. The Governor's budget proposes a $1.3 million General Fund expenditure for OMI, but includes no requirement for matching funds.

Current-Year Funds Available for Reappropriation. Chapter 127 appropriated $1.3 million to the Military Department to allow it to operate a nonresidential military institute in conjunction with the City of Oakland and a school district. At the time this analysis was prepared, the Military Department had expended $125,000 of the $1.3 million appropriation. Because the institute will not begin operation until the budget year, we believe that the costs of those operations should be covered by reappropriating the funds still remaining from the current year. Because OMI will not begin operation until the budget year, additional funds are not justified.

Turning Point Academy Overbudgeted

We withhold recommendation on the $10.6 million proposed for the Turning Point Academy and recommend that the Legislature direct the Military Department to provide, by the time of the May Revision, a revised budget proposal based on a more accurate estimate of the number of cadets that it will be able to serve.

Background. The 2000-01 Governor's Budget proposed $9.2 million for the Military Department to establish the Turning Point Academy (TPA), a residential military academy at Camp San Luis Obispo for juvenile offenders found to have committed an offense at school for which expulsion is mandatory ("zero-tolerance" offenses). The Legislature deleted the money from the budget bill, but subsequently appropriated $9.2 million in separate legislation, Chapter 366, Statutes of 2000 (SB 1542, Schiff). This measure revised the Governor's original proposal in several ways. Most notably, it made TPA subject to the existing standards and regulations for local juvenile facilities and restricted the group of eligible offenders to juveniles found to have brought a firearm to school.

During the current year, the Military Department has been working to implement Chapter 366 and projects enrolling its first class of cadets in March 2001. To prepare for the arrival of the cadets, it has been upgrading facilities, putting in portable classrooms, training staff, and working out a contract with Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo County) to provide the academic curriculum. Once TPA is fully operational, the Military Department projects that it will serve 160 cadets every six months, for a total of 320 per year.

Budget Proposal. The Governor's budget proposes $10.6 million from the General Fund for the ongoing costs of TPA. This includes support for 103 positions and operational costs. The budget assumes that TPA will be fully operational in the budget year and serve 320 cadets.

Eligible Population Unlikely to Meet Department's Projections. All referrals to TPA will come from local juvenile courts. In order for a court to refer an offender a number of conditions must be met. First, the court must be located in a county whose Board of Supervisors has adopted a resolution that makes it subject to the provisions of Chapter 366. Among these provisions, is a requirement that the county provide significant aftercare services for the cadets who have completed the TPA program. As a result, some counties may not opt into Chapter 366. At the time this analysis was prepared, six counties had passed the required resolution and thirteen others were considering a resolution.

Once a county has decided to participate, the second requirement is to identify eligible offenders. In order to be eligible for TPA, an offender must meet the following criteria:

Third, for minors who meet these criteria, the court must find that the minor is likely to benefit from the program and is unlikely to suffer harm due to physical or developmental limitations.

Chapter 366 also requires that an evaluation of the program be conducted with an experimental design. Such an evaluation requires the identification of a comparison group of youth randomly matched to those who will be attending TPA. The practical result is that each county must identify two eligible minors and then randomly select one of them to attend TPA.

Based on its facility capacity, the Military Department has designed a program to serve 160 cadets every six months. Thus, the budget proposal assumes that juvenile courts will refer 320 cadets per year to TPA. We strongly question this assumption because the California Department of Education reports that only 168 high school students were expelled for firearms-related offenses in the 1998-1999 school year. Given that expulsion is mandatory for these offenses, we believe that the largest universe of eligible offenders will be less than 200. Once the other criteria are applied, this number could shrink substantially, particularly if a significant number of counties do not opt into the program. Furthermore, potential referrals must be divided into treatment and comparison groups for evaluation purposes. As a result, we believe that the $10.6 million proposed for the budget year is too high and that there is likely to be money available from the $9.2 million appropriated in the current year.

Military Should Submit a Revised Proposal in May. A large discrepancy exists between the population the department is budgeted to serve and that which is likely to be referred. As a result the department needs to revise its proposal to reflect a more realistic estimate. Once TPA has opened and begun enrolling cadets, it will be easier to estimate how many minors are likely to be referred. Moreover, once the department identifies all of the counties who are planning to participate, it can survey them individually to determine how many offenders would be eligible for referral. Based on this information, the department can revise its budget proposal and estimate what funds will remain from the current year appropriation. As a result, we withhold recommendation on the proposed $10.6 million and recommend that the Legislature direct the department to submit a revised proposal in the May Revision.

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