“Last week the Legislature — which had been considering AB 2772 to make California the first state to require ethnic studies for high school graduation — backed away from creating such a statewide mandate, citing costs estimated to top $400 million. Sponsors settled on a pilot program instead.
“Ethnic studies helps students develop an academic identity,” he said. “It really builds empathy cross-culturally as well so it brings communities that may be different from one another closer together.”
But skeptics say the state couldn’t afford to require such a course. Some critics go even further, insisting the state shouldn’t reinforce “identity politics” and instead should laser-focus on shrinking the academic achievement gap for black and Latino students.
The pilot would cover 10 to 15 school districts across the state that will opt in to have ethnic studies as a graduation requirement. Schools would begin applying next year and the program would create the requirement for some students as early as 2022, with schools reporting their findings in 2024.
Democrats who control the state Capitol — and even some Republicans — had voted for the statewide mandate, but its price tag led the California School Boards Association to oppose it. The new changes that water it down to a pilot program helped the bill overcome a key hurdle in the Senate Appropriations Committee last week.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Money to help the mentally ill is left unspent.
“When California voters passed a tax on high-income residents in 2004, backers said it would make good on the state’s “failed promise” to help counties pay for the treatment of the mentally ill. After nearly 15 years, Proposition 63 has steered billions of dollars to the counties across the state. But huge sums remain unspent at a time when mental illness has become an epidemic among the homeless population. The Times found more nearly $1 billion in unspent funds in L.A. County alone.”
As I keep reminding people: We have far more government than we need, but far less than we actually pay for.
ARE YOU GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT? #METOO: #MeToo star Asia Argento paid hush money to boy who charged her with sexual assault.
The Italian actress and director Asia Argento was among the first women in the movie business to publicly accuse the producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. She became a leading figure in the #MeToo movement. Her boyfriend, the culinary television star Anthony Bourdain, eagerly joined the fight.
But in the months that followed her revelations about Mr. Weinstein last October, Ms. Argento quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to her own accuser: Jimmy Bennett, a young actor and rock musician who said she had sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room years earlier, when he was only two months past his 17th birthday. She was 37. The age of consent in California is 18.
That claim and the subsequent arrangement for payments are laid out in documents between lawyers for Ms. Argento and Mr. Bennett, a former child actor who once played her son in a movie.
I’m beginning to be skeptical of the whole enterprise.