June 7, 2013


OH: The Lessons of the Megalomaniac University President. If you want a glimpse into what has gone wrong with higher education in America, look no further than the brilliant career of E. Gordon Gee, who as of July 1st will be the ex-president of the Ohio State University…If he had been born at another time, Gee might have sold patent medicines or swampy real estate or a new political party. Instead, he spent the last three decades selling the ever-bigger business of American higher ed.  TIME

IL: Chicago Parking Meter Deal: City Council Approves Mayor’s Tweaks To Contract Despite Concerns. The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to approve a proposed rework of the city’s controversial parking meter deal. The council voted 39-11 in favor of the plan pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The mayor claims the tweaked plan could save the city $1 billion bills in the years ahead. The City Council’s Finance Committee had already approved the plan in a 14-5 Monday vote. Huffington Post

WI: Voucher changes draw public criticism, private praise. Area public education officials say the proposed statewide school voucher expansion would deal another blow to districts already reeling from past budget cuts. La Crosse Tribune

LA:  Gov. Bobby Jindal signs bill eliminating public’s right to vote on leasing Jefferson hospitals. Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill that eliminates the public’s right to vote on leasing Jefferson Parish’s two hospitals to outside interests, the governor’s office said Wednesday. That leaves only a local ordinance giving voters a direct voice in the current move to privatize West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero and East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie. NOLA.com

 L: Florida: Court Allows State to Privatize Prisons’ Health Care. The First District Court of Appeals is giving the state’s prison agency the green light to privatize health care services. The court ruled Wednesday that a lower court judge was wrong to block plans for outsourcing in three of Florida’s four prison system regions. The state tried to move ahead with the privatization effort last year, but it was challenged by three unions representing some 2,600 state employees who stand to lose their jobs. A judge in December sided with the union because the privatization plan had been approved by a budget panel instead of the full Legislature. A Department of Corrections spokeswoman said the agency would begin to carry out the privatization effort after the new state budget takes effect on July 1. New York Times

PA: Union Fights Liquor Privatization With New Ads (With Video). The United Food and Commercial Workers Wine and Spirits Council is airing two new television ads with corresponding radio segments as part of their effort to halt GOP plans to privatize the state liquor stores. PoliticsPA           

PA: Fix roads, don’t politicize them – editorial. Privatization is a bad idea and the plan to hold up funds for highways and bridges unless the Senate yields on privatization is a bad idea. The two issues are not remotely connected. Playing politics with roads and bridges — and drivers’ safety — is irresponsible. Whether or not the the liquor stores are privatized is not a life or death issue. We like things the way they are, but Pennsylvanians could live with privatization. The solidity of the state’s infrastructure is an entirely different matter. It has been an issue for many years; delaying action even longer is not a viable option. When the House comes to its senses and passes the roads-and-bridges bill, both it and the Senate will have to beware of politicizing the process. Lancaster Newspapers

Corporate Takeover of Public Education. Independent research in recent months has documented that the nation’s wealthiest philanthropic foundations are steering funding away from public school systems, attended by 90 percent of American students, and toward “challengers” to public education, especially charter schools…. The extent to which these groups will go to supplant the public school system is deeply disturbing. Huffington Post