May 10, 2013


How School Privatizers Buy State-Level Elections. A fundamental struggle for democracy is going on behind the scenes in statehouses around the country, as a handful of wealthy individuals and foundations pour money into efforts to privatize the public schools. The implications are huge. But the school privatizers, and their lobbyists in the states, have so muddied the waters that the public does not get a clear picture of what is at stake.  The Progressive

GAO Report Paints Bleak Fiscal Outlook for States, Local Governments. A new report by the Government Accountability Office forecasts a gloomy outlook for state and local government budgets, finding an ever-widening gap between projected revenues and expenses for years to come.   Governing

TX: Perry’s Vision For University Of Texas Criticized. There’s a debate across the country over how well universities are preparing graduates for the real world, and whether colleges should operate more like businesses. That debate is particularly heated in Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry wants big changes at state colleges, including the flagship University of Texas…. And most of the reform ideas had come from a close ally, an oil man, a former UT business school professor named Jeff Sandefer. He argues that professors concentrate too much on research and writing books, and the reformist solution is to essentially turn Texas’s universities into the kind of super star community colleges where many professors would not be tenured or necessarily even full-time. They’d be experts working in their industries and they’d be paid for how much money they brought into the university and how many students they taught. And Sandefer believes universities should be run more like a business with the students being the customers.  NPR

CT: Issues rise when public-private boundary blurs. A public-private partnership is building a version of Central Park in downtown Stamford. But a public-private partnership can be a tangled web, as a ticket tiff showed last week before a gala to celebrate the opening of the first section of Mill River Park. The partnership is called the Mill River Collaborative, which organized last Thursday’s gala to also be a fundraiser to help meet its goal of collecting $20 million from private contributors. The Advocate