July 23, 2013


For-profit colleges face heat again on Hill.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Holly Petraeus goes on the attack, saying a federal rule encourages for-profit colleges to exploit veterans…..Petraeus will say the rule gives “some for-profit colleges an incentive to see service members as nothing more than dollar signs in uniform and to use some very unscrupulous marketing techniques.” Politico (blog)

Air Force considers privatizing Cape operations. The Air Force is studying the possibility of transforming Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Eastern Range into a commercially operated spaceport. FLORIDA TODAY

MI: Detroit’s assets are under review amid crushing debt. Kevyn Orr is Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager….Last Friday, Orr took questions from reporters. The very first question he faced was pretty much, ”What’s for sale?” “Right now there’s nothing for sale, including Howdy Doody.” Orr was actually referring to the Detroit Institute of Arts, whose collection includes the original puppet from the 1950s children’s TV show. Though no one knows for sure, the DIA’s total assets — which include masterpieces by Van Gogh and Picasso — could be worth about $2.5 billion. John Pottow is a professor and bankruptcy expert at the University of Michigan. He says parts of the museum’s collection could potentially be liquidated and sold off to the highest bidder — at least, in theory.  Michigan Radio

IL: Emanuel backs independent budget office to analyze spending. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has thrown his support behind a plan to create a $250,000-a-year independent budget office that would help the City Council analyze the mayor’s spending and privatization plans and suggest budget-balancing alternatives….. “There’s a high number of really high-profile public- private partnerships the city is looking at. We’re talking about Midway Airport and the Port Authority. We’ll probably be talking about garbage and water [at some point]. There’s no way you can run a full office that has these duties for 250,000. I don’t even know if it would last one deal,” Miller said. “I heard from several aldermen that they were really unsure of what direction to go when discussing the new parking meter deal [revised by Emanuel]. They felt something like this would be useful. But to have an office that is supposed to run on $250,000 is laughable.” Chicago Sun Times

NC: Public Education, Private Profit? North Carolina Set To Expand Controversial Voucher Program. North Carolina state legislators are expected to vote this week on a historic $20.6 billion budget that would further privatize the state’s education programs, expanding a voucher program that  allows families to use taxpayer money to pay private-school tuition. MintPressNews

AZ: Tucson-area districts increasingly move to convert schools to charters. Arizona has seen an unprecedented surge in school districts wanting to convert some of their schools to charters, raising concerns over whether districts are unfairly using the law just to generate more money. Arizona Daily Star