May 6, 2014


Charter Schools Gone Wild: Study Finds Widespread Fraud, Mismanagement and Waste. Charter school operators want to have it both ways. When they’re answering critics of school privatization, they say charter schools are public — they use public funds and provide students with a tuition-free education. But when it comes to transparency, they insist they have the same rights to privacy as any other private enterprise. But a report released Monday by Integrity in Education and the Center for Popular Democracy — two groups that oppose school privatization – presents evidence that inadequate oversight of the charter school industry hurts both kids and taxpayers.

CO: Judge: Fees for parking, other basic recreation-area access are OK. A Washington, D.C., court ruling quashed a grassroots lawsuit that protested day-use fees collected by private contractors managing public recreation areas. . . . The decision is a blow to fee critics as well as five individuals from Colorado, Arizona and Oregon and a forest advocacy group who sued the Forest Service in September 2012. The lawsuit aimed to hold private concessionaires to the same rules that the Forest Service must follow under the Recreation Enhancement Act, which prohibits the agency from charging for simple access or undeveloped camping spaces but notes “a third party may charge a fee for providing a good or service to a visitor.” The lawsuit wasn’t challenging the right of concessionaires to collect fees but wanted to keep such things as parking at a campground or trailhead by hikers free. It also sought public review of fees charged by contractors. “The ruling confirms the Forest Service position that once they let private companies run these sites, they don’t have to abide by the same restrictions that the agency itself does,” said Matt Kenna, the Durango attorney who represented the plaintiffs. The Denver Post

LA: Jindal won’t scrap hospital privatization model. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration won’t reverse course on privatizing state-owned hospitals that care for the poor and uninsured and will continue negotiating with federal officials on ways to pay for the deals, Jindal’s chief budget adviser said Monday. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, rejected financing plans submitted by the Jindal administration for most of the privatization contracts late last week, and lawmakers were trying to determine the state’s next steps. The Daily Advertiser