June 26, 2014

Standard & Poor’s rates outlook for charter school sector as ‘negative’
Standard & Poor’s has issued a new report that extends its “negative” outlook for the charter school sector. Of 214 public charter school ratings done by the agency, 41, or 19 percent, are negative while only 4 — or 2 percent — are positive. Furthermore, it says, funding has not generally “returned to pre-recessionary levels, and some schools are struggling to operate in this “new normal.’” Washington Post (blog)

MI: Bigger Implications of Detroit’s Water Shut-off For Up To Half Its Population
The city of Detroit has announced that it will be shutting off the water for customers who are $150 or two months behind in paying bills. Half of the customers fit the profile– over 150,000 people. It’s so bad that a collection of groups are appealing to the United Nations for help. This is worst than bad. It’s sick. It is also something we can expect a lot more of, on several fronts. What we have here is a city run by an un-elected mayor appointed by a right wing governor. This action is a warning for several trends we can expect from rapacious, predator capitalists.  OpEdNews

CA: Highway 156 private toll road concept explored
Highway 156 could become a privately operated toll road in an effort to pay for a long-delayed widening project for the crucial link between the Monterey Peninsula and the Bay Area. On Wednesday, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County board of directors approved an agreement with Caltrans to explore a partnership with a private entity capable of helping pay for and construct the highway project in exchange for a share of the toll road proceeds. Monterey County Herald

ME: Bangor charter school controversy continues
For the past year, the Queen City has had a moratorium on charter schools to keep any from being built in the area. However, the rule does not include virtual schools. “A virtual school is a little bit different because it doesn’t have a physical location. There will not be a physical location here in Bangor,” said Councilor Joe Baldacci, who spearheaded the moratorium. The city’s concerns with charter schools remain the same, virtual or not. City leaders said they worry about the financial burden a charter school would impose. According to Baldacci, if Bangor students choose this virtual option, it will take money away from an already strained budget. “Every student that comes out of the Bangor school system that would enroll in this, we are going to be paying for it. Property tax payers will, to the tune of $9,000 per student,” said Baldacci.  WCSH-TV