Here is a case study. In our state, the Chief Justice for Administration and Management [CJAM] has total control over a line item, 0330-0300 in which there is no itemization, nor any requirement that anything be spent on anything certain.
The CJAM eliminated the role of Guardian ad Litem for Education, and in fact, most funding for any Guardian ad Litems. See:
http://www.mass.gov/courts/bud… At this link, the CJAM admits “restricting” Guardian ad Litem appointments.
See also: http://www.mass.gov/courts/cou…
Note that “Guardian ad Litem for Education” is no longer listed. Ed Surrogate Parent/decision maker is listed. All investigative and over sight functions have been eliminated. If you scroll down to page 2 of this .pdf, you will note that even this emasculated appointment regarding education is not even available for CHINS [Children in Need of Services] cases
Given that CHINS cases are often filed because a child will not go to school/does not go to school as a “CHINS Truant” and prior to 11/14/08 wise judges would say:
When school is working for a child, the child goes to school. I am appointing a Guardian ad Litem for Education to find out what is wrong, and make sure that this child goes to school.
No more. Because the CJAM had total control of an undifferentiated line item, kids all across the Commonwealth are suffering.
I should know. I had eleven minors whose education I was fighting for and over seeing. I had to shut all eleven cases down on 24 hours notice, no matter what impact that had.
No. I don’t want the CJAM or the Chief Counsel of the Committee for Public Counsel Services to be able to move money wherever they want.
I would rather see a separate line item for Guardian ad Litems – and no one able to raid that line item.
And I surely do not want the already under-funded line item for indigent defense raided to subsidize staff positions.
Transferability needs to be limited, transparent, and rational; not carte blanche.