June 17, 2013


Private Preschools See More Public Funds. Across the country, states and districts are increasingly funneling public funds to religious schools, private nursery schools and a variety of nonprofit organizations. New York Times

Growth of intel outsourcing no secret, but now Congress taking notice. While the average American may have been surprised to learn a 29-year-old civilian could tap into secret government files while drawing a paycheck from a for-profit firm, there is nothing new or unusual about it. Last year, 483,236 private contractors had top-secret security clearances, compared to 791,200 government employees, according to a report by the office of the Director of National Intelligence. Another 582,542 contractors had the less-stringent confidential security clearance, compared to 2.7 million government workers, the report said.  NBCNews.com (blog)

PA: Philadelphia Closes 23 Schools, Lays Off Thousands, Builds Huge Prison. The Philadelphia public school system has been a target for school reform and Charter-enthusiasts for the past few years, and several figures (including the mayor) have defended charter schools as a viable replacement to the entire public school system. The school closures, which (of course) disproportionately affect schools in poor and minority neighborhoods, will force students to venture far outside of their own neighborhoods to attend their closest school. Charter schools in Philadelphia have been plagued by scandal and corruption, have no requirement to admit any student and can dismiss a student at any time. Still, Philadelphia Mayor Nutter defended them during an awkward appearance on MSNBC where he defended the cuts.  Gawker

VA: Creditors to take over operation of privately run, state-owned toll road. Creditors are taking over operation of a privately run, state-owned toll road that has failed to generate enough revenue to cover its debt payments. Washington Post

IA: State leaders to explore privatizing data network. After decades of building out, paying for and grossly underutilizing the statewide fiber-optic data system, officials now are formally exploring their options for privatizing it in hopes of realizing a greater return on an investment that now exceeds $280 million.  Des Moines Register

FL: Florida Gets Federal Approval To Privatize Medicaid. The federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has given full approval for Florida to essentially privatize its Medicaid program. Under the agreement, healthcare companies will have to spend a set amount of money directly on patient care. WSFU

LA: Gov. Jindal gets what he wants from the LSU Board of Supervisors: Opinion. Pity the hapless members of the LSU Board of Supervisors. They are esteemed members of their professions and respected in their communities. But to serve on this board, Gov. Bobby Jindal apparently demanded they surrender their independence and self-respect. It seems they do his bidding about whom to hire and fire. They remain quiet as he decimates the university’s budget. They eagerly comply with his program to relinquish the state’s health care system to corporations. In other words, Jindal says, “Jump.” They respond, “Yes, sir!” Let’s review the dismal record.  NOLA


MI: Editorial: Put money in real education reform, not privatization. “Choice” remains code for privatization, and the governor’s friends on the foundation (which by the way is not really a foundation and has no affiliation with Oxford University as its name might imply) are no friends of public education. The act, a voucher plan, would allow students to take their public money to any private vendor. It would allow charter schools to have selective enrollment and to charge tuition. And it would further decimate public schools in poorer districts, forcing students to attend schools away from their communities, for which their learning would ultimately suffer. Battle Creek Enquirer