Los Angeles plans to implement a district-wide ethnic studies curriculum, but it has run into a massive $70 million roadblock.
Last fall, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) took the almost-unprecedented step of requiring every student in the district to pass a course in “ethnic studies” in order to graduate high school. When the school board approved the measure, however, it did so without any clear price tag. An initial estimate suggested the price of implementing the decree would be only $3.4 million.
It turns out that estimate was off by a factor of 20. A recently completed analysis by the district’s Ethnic Studies Committee concluded that the price to implement the new program will be a staggering $72.7 million over four years, with most of the cost coming from the need to buy thousands of new textbooks and train instructors in the new curriculum. That’s about $105 per student in the district.
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