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Juggling and sushi trump calculus in California schools

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This is the effect of a state law that was approved by California voters, which forever set aside taxpayers' money to make afterschool activities a permanent entitlement program. Limit this kind of thing by constitution you ask? Well, the geniuses that came up with this idea, and many, many others made this a constitutional amendment, because passage of an amendment requires no greater amount of voter approval than a statute. The result is that these things are permanent until voters overrule them - which is highly unlikely.


State will pay to teach children to juggle and roll sushi, even if it has to cancel calculus courses

By Los Angeles Times

California is about to pump a half-billion dollars into teaching children to roll sushi, to juggle and to master new dance forms, even as spending cuts threaten instruction in reading, math and other fundamentals.

That’s because the sum scheduled to be spent on after-school enrichment classes in 2009 is off-limits for anything else. State law dictates that cooking classes continue even if some calculus courses could be canceled.

In good economic times, voters have passed ballot initiatives that devoted billions of dollars to social and recreational programs, such as the after-school initiative championed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2002, before he was governor. It is intended to keep youths off the street by offering them extracurricular activity — such as cooking, juggling and dance — as well as tutoring and volunteer opportunities.

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