The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal Tuesday to provide career technical education to probationers at four county probation camps – including camps Scudder and Scott in Saugus – at a cost of $2.1 million.
But county mayor and 5th District Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich isn’t rushing to pay for it out of the county’s general fund.
The proposal from the county Probation Department calls on the board of supervisors to ratify a contract with the Los Angeles County Office of Education to roll out a vocational training program that would “’enable minors to become self-sufficient and assist in supporting their families.”
“(Studies) show developing good work habits and occupational skills lead to reduced recidivism and provides for healthier and safer communities,” the report states.
A pilot “charter look-alike” school began in September 2010 for female probationers in the camps on Bouquet Canyon Road.
“With the implementation of this ‘Road to Success Academy,’ there has been remarkable progress in girls’ level of engagement,” according to the staff report, and the program has “resulted in a school-wide culture where the girls have exhibited improved levels of self-confidence, greater focus and attention on classroom engagement, and higher quality of academic work.”
The expanded program up for consideration Tuesday would run through June 2015 and would include training in blueprint reading, cabinetmaking, communications, concrete, drywall, electrical, estimation, finish carpentry, framing, green construction, hand tools, HVAC, masonry, painting, plumbing, power tools, roofing and tiling.
Antonovich is balking at the idea of paying county money to a state-funded agency under a sole-source service contract.
The L.A. County Office of Education “is funded by the state and not by county general funds,” Antonovich notes in a separate board motion. “However, today’s action requests authority to allocate over $2 million of general funds to LACOE over the term of the sole-source contract.
“Both LACOE and the county are at the mercy of the state’s budget crisis, which directly impacts our respective abilities to deliver critical services and programs,” his motion states.
Antonovich notes that the Board of Supervisors requested an audit of the county Office of Education more than a year ago to “identify improvements to service delivery and resource management.” The final draft is due out next month, and “dozens of recommendations resulting in fiscal and administrative efficiencies are anticipated,” he states.
His motion asks the superintendent of the county Office of Education to “report back in 90 days with a funding plan beginning fiscal year 2012-13 using funding sources other than county general funds” to pay for the probationers’ vocational training.