[UPDATE: The school board stopped mulling and decided to act.]
Last week, I wrote a long, ruminative post questioning how far a democracy must go to protect its minorities. Stepping in, right on cue, the San Francisco School District, which is facing a disastrous budget shortfall, is considering a huge expansion in a program aimed and supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth within the school district. Put simply, the City is seriously contemplating further destroying academic opportunities for the many in order to engage in statistics and psychobabble for the few:
With everything from art classes, summer school and jobs on the chopping block this year, the San Francisco school board will decide this week whether to greatly expand school services, support and instruction on issues of sexual orientation.
The decision could cost the school district, which is facing a $113 million budget shortfall over the next two years, at least $120,000 a year – enough cash to cover the salaries of two classroom teachers.
The school board is expected to vote Tuesday on the fiscally controversial resolution calling for San Francisco Unified to add a new full-time staffer to manage “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning” youth issues in the district’s Student Support Services Department.
It also would require the district to track harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and distribute an educational packet to parents, encouraging them to discuss “the issues of sexuality, gender identity and safety” with their children.
That commitment probably would cost about $90,000 a year for the staffer and maybe another $30,000 for the rest.
Read the rest here. It is worth remembering at this point that, even by generous estimates, those gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students constitute only a very small portion of the San Francisco student population:
Various estimates of percentage of US population that is gay:
Average guess by polled Americans: 21% of men, 22% of women
Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male: 10%
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: 3% to 8%
The Family Research Report: 2% to 3% of men, 2% of women
The 2000 US Census Bureau: less than 1%
It’s also worth thinking about how San Francisco’s school system currently ranks (and this ranking is before the projected cuts to academics have gone into effect). Out of 752 school districts in California, San Francisco comes in at 382 — a little over halfway to the bottom. It could certainly be worse, but considering San Francisco’s prestige and sophistication, that’s a pretty pathetic showing.
Of course, San Francisco isn’t alone in this desire to appease minority sensibilities at the expense of the majority. Berkeley, right across the Bay, garnered significant headlines when its school district proposed cutting science programs (that is, solidly academic programs) because not enough minorities were signing up for them. After an uproar from parents who care more about their children’s education than parading them as sacrificial lambs to Progressive politics, the school district has backed off the plan, at least for now.
What’s so fascinating about these Progressive initiatives is that they are not being put in place to address manifest wrongs. That is, I don’t see any argument that black and Hispanic students are being discouraged from taking science classes in Berkeley, or that they are the subjects of rank discrimination. Likewise, the San Francisco school district isn’t using an epidemic of anti-gay violence to justify redirecting funds from academics to a designated victim group. Instead, this is simply the Progressive mindset at work: minorities are victims; victims need reparations; within the context of public education, reparations come in the form of denying academic opp0rtunities to all students (including, of course, the victims themselves).
I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but I’m beginning to think that, provided Obama doesn’t bankrupt us or Iran bomb us, Obama’s election may be a blessing in disguise. Progressives outside of power managed to convince vast swathes of America that Progressives were interested only in the good of all, while inherently evil conservatives were dedicated to the destruction of everyone but white males (plus a few pro-Life pseudo-females).
The election, however, has gone to the Progressives’ heads. They are revealing themselves in all their ugliness. When it comes to education, their goal isn’t to educate children, but to indoctrinate them in an anti-American, anti-Israel curriculum that elevates victim status over academics. On abortion, they’re not pro-Choice, but pro-Death. On national security, their anti-Bush diatribes proved to be rooted in an affinity with the terrorists over the interests and security of Americans. Their ostensible concern about the economy is merely an umbrella to transfer all wealth to the government.
You can add to this list, ’cause you know where I’m going. Before the election, we saw the eternally pure and youthful Dorian Gray; now we see the picture in which reposes all the actual ugliness and evil.