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State Farm cancels plan to distribute LGBTQ books to kindergartners after leak

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State Farm Insurance Company is canceling a planned program to distribute LGBTQ-themed books after an internal email was leaked. Outrage ensued as to why an insurance company would even contemplate getting involved with the sexuality of young children.

The email, written by Jose Soto, State Farm’s Corporate Responsibility Analyst, was leaked by a whistleblower and obtained by Consumers’ Research. The email stated that State Farm was recruiting six agents in Florida “that would be interested in participating in this unique project, by receiving these books in March, then donating them to their community by the end of April.”

“These books” referred to LGBTQ-themed books to be distributed to teachers, community centers and libraries. “The project’s goal is to increase representation of LGBTQ+ books and support out communities in having challenging, important and empowering conversations with children Age 5+,” wrote Soto, to all Florida agents.

“Along with donating the books, we would encourage the agent to highlight our commitment to diversity on their social media pages,” Soto adds. State Farm is working with The GenderCool Project in which “Nationwide, approximately 550 State Farm agents and employees will have the opportunity to donate this 3 book bundle to their local teacher, community center or library of their choice,” the email added, also saying that the effort will extend beyond Florida.

The three-book bundle is part of the GenderCool Collection. In the book Non-Binary, a character named Gia is introduced to young readers as a transgender girl who uses she/her pronouns. “When you’re born, a doctor looks at you and says, ‘It’s a boy!’ or ‘It’s a girl!’ based on your body. But gender isn’t that simple. You see, when I was born, the doctor said, ‘It’s a boy!’ But…this wasn’t true,” Gia narrates.

“Gender is how you feel in your heart and mind, but it may not match what the doctor says when you are born,” it reads.

National Review reports:

The GenderCool Project is “a youth-led movement bringing positive change to the world,” according to the website. The organization highlights youth spokespeople who either identify as transgender or don’t conform to gender norms, called the “Champions,” who “are helping replace misinformed opinions with positive experiences meeting transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving.”

Beyond State Farm, GenderCool lists other major American companies as its partners and supporters, including Dell, Intuit, Nike, NBC Universal, Adobe, General Mills, Capital One, Intel, Indeed, HP, VmWare, Bank of America, Bayer, Out & Equal, Sprout Social, Prudential, CBRE, Oracle, USDA, Abbvie, JLL, and All State.

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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate

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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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