December 18, 2013


CA: Private foster care system, intended to save children, endangers some. Those living in private agencies’ homes are a third more likely to endure physical, emotional or sexual abuse, a Times analysis found. Los Angeles Times

NY: Should New York Regents Privatize the State’s Research Function? New York established a privately funded “Research Fellow” group to implement the Race to the Top agenda of Common Core implementation and testing. This group was funded by the Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the chair of the Regents, Merryl Tisch. “Two of the charities bankrolling a controversial $18 million education fellowship program also gave millions to a data company to which the state Education Department plans to send personal student information, despite parents’ objections. Diane Ravitch’s blog

PA: Lawmaker Lets Traffic Camera Companies Police Themselves. Pennsylvania state Senator Michael J. Stack (D-Phil) is a big fan of traffic camera companies. Last week he introduced legislation enabling any small town in the state to hire a for-profit firm to set up speed cameras on a freeway or heavily trafficked road in return for a cut of the revenue collected. The measure would also put the photo radar companies in charge of verifying that the tickets they issue are accurate.

DC: Officers nab 116 ‘backtrackers’ at Dulles Airport….With tolls expected to rise on the Dulles Toll Road in January to $2.50 from $1.75 at the main toll plaza, more drivers may be tempted to drive airport roads to avoid paying the higher rates. But they might consider this: Backtracking is considered a moving violation with fines that start at $92 in addition to a penalty of three points on the person’s drivers license.  Washington Post (blog)

VA: FHA seeks public comment on proposed Va. toll road. The Federal Highway Administration is seeking public input on Virginia’s plan to build a 55-mile tolled highway through western Tidewater. Washington Post

NJ: Don’t privatize our jobs, toll collectors tell NJ Turnpike Authority…. Van Wart, who has been a toll collector for 22 years, with a 6-year break for motherhood, showed up at the monthly meeting of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to put a human face on the toll collectors whose jobs the authority wants to privatize.  The Star-Ledger

IL: Sources: Mayor will withdraw Quincy garbage privatization plan. Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore will announce at a press conference Wednesday morning that he will withdraw his plan to privatize the city’s garbage and recycling program.

TX: Charter school’s Houston ties under scrutiny. Repercussions from legal troubles at a Louisiana charter school have reached Texas because of the school’s business ties with Houston-based Harmony Public Schools, the state’s largest charter operator. Houston Chronicle

OR: Seven Arrested Fighting to Keep the Postal Office Alive in Oregon….. The Gateway mail processing center employs 169 people and is slotted to close sometime after February as a result of the Republican ALEC-led push to privatize the post office by bankrupting it. The closures of processing centers are part of the “cost-cutting” measures imposed upon the post office. PoliticusUSA