July 9, 2014


Video: Profiting from the GI Bill
The Center for Investigative Reporting found more than $600 million dollars in GI bill money had gone to hundreds of for-profit schools in California with low graduation rates and high rates of student loan default.  CIRonline

EDITORIAL: Lessons of a For-Profit College Collapse
For-profit colleges are lobbying hard to weaken rules proposed by the Obama administration that would deny federal aid to career training programs that burden students with crippling debt and worthless credentials. But a recent spate of state and federal investigations into potentially predatory behavior by the for-profit sector — combined with the collapse of Corinthian Colleges, one of the country’s largest operators of for-profit colleges and trade schools — makes clear that the rules need to be strengthened and that federal oversight generally needs to be broadened. That’s the only way to shield students and taxpayers from exploitive or irresponsibly managed for-profit institutions that rely on federal student aid for up to 90 percent of their revenue.  New York Times

MI: Detroit’s fight for public water is also the nation’s
Detroit made international news this month when its municipal water board resumed cutting off water to residents with unpaid bills. With thousands of community members struggling in homes with no running water, local groups reached out (PDF) to the United Nations special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation to intervene. On Wednesday, U.N. officials responded, calling the water department’s actions a “violation of the human right to water and other international human rights.”. . . . Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder last year to see the city through bankruptcy, is considering the privatization of the city’s water. According to a water department spokesman, “DWSD has no say in the matter.” Al Jazeera America

MI: Tolls unlikely to smooth Michigan’s bumpy roads – opinion
Let’s put it this way: There will be Dairy Queens on the moon before we see any major toll roads in this state, and there are billion$ of reasons why. The major stumbling block is the federal government pays up to 80 percent of the costs on many Michigan freeways and highways and, in nearly all cases, would want to be repaid for its investment.  Michigan is facing a chronic shortfall for road construction funds, but would it be expected to come up with hundreds of billions to repay the feds for I-75, 94, 96, etc.? The Detroit News

FL: Lawsuit still alive alleging Medicaid fails Florida children
A federal judge refused Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit alleging Florida provides inadequate care to children in its Medicaid program, despite state claims privatizing the program will resolve many of the problems. The state argued a massive statewide overhaul to privatize Medicaid will raise reimbursement rates, improve doctor participation and address allegations children can’t get doctor appointments. . . .Judge Adalberto Jordan said the changes are promising, but added there are too many unknowns about whether the program will actually improve access to medical care to dismiss the case. Bradenton Herald

MD: Police, fire unions oppose mayor’s new pension plan
City finance officials say the privatization plan is the latest step needed to save the Fire and Police Employees’ Retirement System, which they say is struggling and carries a $765 million unfunded liability. But union officials say the threat of pension collapse is overblown, and maintain that weaker benefits will cause talented recruits to go elsewhere. “The union vehemently opposes it,” said Rick Hoffman, president of the city’s firefighters’ union. “It’s not going to get us the people we need to grow Baltimore. We are going to go back to the days where we couldn’t keep paramedics.” Baltimore Sun