Formalizing Noncooperation between DHS and the Schools
Even though it was theoretically desirable to have a close relationship between the DHS-funded community programs and the programs in the schools, there were many political and bureaucratic impediments to effective collaboration. The increasingly specific tobacco control programs of DHS, the LLAs, and their coalitions diverged over time from the schools' diffuse efforts. Tobacco control advocates increasingly viewed the schools as black holes into which money would disappear with little or no effect on tobacco consumption. TCS decided to limit LLA involvement in the classroom because of concern that the schools would coopt LLA funding to serve needs that CDE was supposed to be financing. TCS was also worried that, as with the early focus on cessation, LLAs would spend their time doing one-shot presentations in the schools rather than moving into policy-based activities for community change.
- DHS funds cannot be used for the development or implementation of in-classroom curriculum in public schools without prior state contract approval.
- DHS-funded programs in school settings must be non-curricular programs that supplement ongoing Department of Education (DOE) funded curriculum programs in the classroom or are extra-curricular activities for which DOE funding is not available to support.
In 1993, in a study of eight counties, the three LLAs that were trying to collaborate with the schools voiced strong objections to the guidelines because the guidelines second-guessed and impeded their efforts. By 1998, when fifteen of the sixty-one LLA directors were interviewed, no one mentioned them because most were no longer trying to work in schools very much.
Carolyn Martin, who headed TEOC at the time the classroom guidelines were established, was angry about them:
We found out later that, as the money became tighter, Dileep Bal had told his friends at DHS, “Under no circumstances are you to do anything whatsoever in the schools. They have their own money and we don't need to help them out.” Well, on the community level this is a source of great anger and resentment because it's stupid…and the local yokels know it. So we have absolutely given Dileep marching orders that they are to cooperate and spend time and money in the schools. Now whether or not that will happen, I don't know.
The LLA directors had mixed reactions about the Proposition 99 program in the schools, generally more negative than positive. Of the fifteen LLA directors interviewed in 1998 for this book, seven thought that their schools had done very little on the tobacco issue. Five thought some tobacco programming had occurred, although they had hoped for better. Only three of the fifteen were supportive of the effort in their schools.