August 29, 2012


FL: Judge Affirms Dismissal of Unions’ Prison Privatization Suit. Judge Kevin Carroll of the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court of Florida on Monday dismissed without prejudice a motion by the Florida Nurses Association and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to rehear their suit on plans by the state Department of Corrections to privatize prison health services. Carroll did not rule on the merits of the suit, he simply reaffirmed the suit’s previous dismissal, but left the door open for the unions to file a new suit.  Sunshine State News

TX: TxDOT maintenance privatization not coming to Basin. After a pilot project in Harris County to privatize traditional maintenance saved $10 million on maintenance, TxDOT officials have now planned toexpand the program to perform routine maintenance on parts of Interstate 35 between Dallas and San Antonio…The program won’t be coming to Midland/Odessa any time soon, Powell said, because there’s simply not as much routine maintenance to be done as in the larger urban areas.  “Rural areas like Odessa, we already privatize some things like mowing and we have litter contracts,” he said. “If it works and we can expand the program, then it eventually could come out here.” Odessa American

NY: Who teaches in NYC charter schools? The teachers are younger than district teachers, but not right out of college.  They typically have six years of experience, less than district teachers. Their salaries are comparable to those of public school teachers. They mostly have smaller classes than those in the district schools. The students are less likely to include ELLs and special-ed than the district schools. The charters do not have the same kids as the district schools. The test scores vary. Bottom line: These schools do NOT prove that money and poverty don’t matter.  Diane Ravich

GOP targets size, cost of federal workforce. The platform also calls for “the adjustment of pay scales and benefits to reflect those of the private sector.” Presidential nominee Mitt Romney argues that federal employees are overcompensated by 30 percent to 40 percent on average, reflecting the conclusions of a study by the conservative Heritage Foundation… The platform also includes several other long-running GOP proposals regarding the federal workforce: restructuring pay to better reward “those who dare to innovate, reduce overhead, optimize processes, and expedite paperwork”; tighter enforcement of student loan and tax obligations by employees; and privatizing airport screening “wherever feasible.”   Washington Post