149 The education catastrophe is near Biblical: Probably the biggest jaw dropper in the last little while is the suggested cost for education reform in the state's schools: $1.5 trillion. Per year.
California already spends nearly half its annual budget on education, a total of $66 billion in the current fiscal year, or about $11,000 per student in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Still, one estimate in the documents obtained by the AP says California might need to spend as much as $1.5 trillion a year to meet its performance goals, an amount equal to about half the annual federal budget. [California school reform to cost billions more, studies say, San Francisco Chronicle 3/13/07]
149 Los Angeles food workers need vaccinations: Here's another immigration tax — the huge public health tab associated with vaccinating all food service employees in Los Angeles County for Hepatitis A ($200/treatment x 100,000 workers = $20,000,000). Hepatitis A is caused by unclean food handling, particularly inadequate hand washing. The illness is "spread by feces-to-mouth contact."
County officials may require food-service workers in thousands of eateries across Los Angeles to get vaccinated for hepatitis A after a series of outbreaks.
County supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to look into the costs and benefits of such a vaccination, which would be a massive undertaking involving more than 100,000 workers. The requirement could affect 25,000 eateries, 300 catering companies and 270 wholesale producers.
"We need to ensure that those who are involved in the handling of food are safe and healthy," County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said. "The public is vulnerable." [All L.A. Food Workers May Need Vaccinations, ABCNews7 3/07/07]
149 English is losing ground in the San Jose area: How can it be a good thing for fewer people to be able to understand one another? That's not a community by any definition. Babel was a curse, not a celebration of diversity. In Santa Clara County, 36 percent of residents were born outside the United States.
As it grows as a global technology hub, Silicon Valley has become one of the most polyglot places in the United States. Santa Clara County is on the brink of a linguistic milestone: Within the next few years, more people will speak a foreign language at home than the number who speak English, recently released census data shows. Given the statistical uncertainty, that threshold may already have been crossed.
Santa Clara County has the largest population of Hindi speakers among all counties in the United States, the second-largest population of Vietnamese speakers, the third-largest population of Persian/Farsi speakers, and the fifth biggest number of Chinese speakers, a Mercury News analysis of 2005 census data shows. In percentage terms, the county ranks first in Vietnamese speakers, second in Hindi, third in Chinese and fourth in Persian/Farsi.
That's the latest from diversity ground zero!