Monday, August 18

Got Milk? - So a liberal Democrat has sued New York City to halt the expansion of the Harvey Milk "set-aside" school for gay kids. In a classic example of identity politics run amok, the suit specifically alleges that the school would divert funds from more needy black and Hispanic kids. I guess it's another example of that never-ending battle over who gets a bigger piece of the pie -- recently revamped into the fight to be the most worthy victim.

Ben, I think the brewing legal battle sharpens the issues and focuses on points you raised earlier in comments. The school's defenders explain on their website that its purpose is not to offer separate schooling for all or even a significant portion of NYC's gay youth. Instead, it's basically a shelter for kids with serious problems coping with peers at their normal schools. Perhaps as the case moves forward, the cost-benefit analysis you spoke about will come even more to the fore: that it is cheaper to give these kids a place of their own than to try to protect them in situ at the hundreds of separate schools around the city. This argument, which portrays the Harvey Milk School as a more optimal use of educational funds, meets the central allegations of the lawsuit head on. Yet in the public arena, the most fiscally wise solution doesn't always prevail. Stay tuned for the result.