November 14, 2012


Phony school “reform” agenda takes a beating

The media barely noticed, but voters in three states rejected the profit-driven fraud that is education “reform”.  Salon

Enrollment in Charter Schools Is Increasing

In some cities, including Detroit, St, Louis and particularly New Orleans, charter schools enroll a significant proportion of the district’s students.  New York Times

The conservative push for prison reform

Nor is this a case of corporate cronyism. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which drafts model legislation for conservative state legislatures and is a newfound supporter of prison reform, does not receive support from any prison privatization companies, and has renounced its previous support for privatization measures.  Washington Post

MI: Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept considering privatization

Dozens of Detroit residents spoke out in opposition of proposed restructuring within the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. A public hearing was held today to get the public’s input on a $48 million no-bid contract for consulting services. Residents fear that savings will come at the cost of quality and jobs, a trade-off those in attendance were not willing to make. Arguments ranged from the allegations that EMA Inc. lowers quality of water and services to the need to create jobs and not eliminate them – to the argument that the department can fix itself. WXYZ

FL:  Editorial: Florida privatization runs off the rails again

Another state agency, another privatization scheme off the rails. The account of how the Florida Division of Blind Services has failed to monitor the agency’s private vendors is just one more example for Republican Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who has been trying to bring sensible reform to the state’s privatization spree. Privatization only works well when the agency doing the hiring writes strong, service-oriented contracts and state employees provide effective oversight. Anything less is just government misfeasance.  Tampa Bay Times

PA: Hughes Questions Proposal to Privatize Lottery Management

“The Pennsylvania Lottery is an efficiently and effectively run agency that funds critical services that benefit Pennsylvania seniors.  The overall question is, why would the governor propose a privatization plan that potentially threatens to siphon off dollars intended to help seniors and pay them to a private contractor instead?” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny).- “The harsh reality is that moving into such a long-term contract as the governor has outlined would be the same as signing the mortgage to senior programs over to a private company for the next generation.”

NY: Suffering on LI as Power Agency Shows Its Flaws

Trying to fend off attacks on his oversight of the Long Island Power Authority, Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday established a high-level panel, called a Moreland Commission, to investigate how utilities across New York, including the authority, handled Hurricane Sandy and other storms. He also revived a proposal that he made in his 2010 campaign to combine the authority with other state energy agencies, but has not ruled out privatizing the authority. “I don’t believe you can fix it,” he said. “I believe it has to be overhauled and you need a new system.” New York Times

VA: Tolls on I-64 can’t replace a true solution for state roads – opinion

It seems every strategy to build new highways and tunnels in our region includes tolls. Now the state – never accused of showing munificence to Hampton Roads – is floating a proposal to toll Interstate 64 between Hampton and Richmond. Oh, goody. Soon enough, our transponders will activate after we exit our driveways or subdivisions; maybe even both. It’s getting ridiculous.  The Virginian-Pilot

VA: MWAA to vote on rates increases for Dulles Toll Road

The board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is expected to vote Wednesday to raise fees on the Dulles Toll Road. The toll increases, which have been expected, are needed in part to fund construction of the Dulles Rail extension. Washington Post