August 29, 2013


CA: Calif. Gov. Proposes Prison Expansion, Privatization To Avoid Prisoner Early Release. California’s prison situation has been dire for a long time. In the wake of mismanagement, years of overcrowding, and a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring that California’s prisoner housing circumstances lead to “needless suffering and death,” the state has been under pressure to either offer early release to thousands of California prisoners or come up with another solution. Last night, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown opted for the latter. In These Times

IA: Iowa won’t privatize state fiber-optic network. Gov. Terry Branstad says the state will reject bids for the Iowa Communications Network. Branstad says today that the bids for the statewide fiber-optic network do not reflect the value of the system. Both bids came from the West Des Moines-based Iowa Network Services. The network provides phone, video, data and internet services to schools, hospitals, libraries and government agencies across the state. It is currently an independent agency within the state government.  Dubuque Telegraph Herald

PA: Corbett extends Pa. Lottery bid another 2 months.The extension is the eighth agreed to by the operator of British national lottery. Corbett, a Republican who is a proponent of privatizing government services, began searching for a private manager in early 2012 and chose the only bidder, Camelot, in January. But state Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the proposed contract with Camelot in February. Kane said state law did not allow the governor to privatize lottery management or sanction the expansion of gambling the contract would permit. Her office also concluded that a management fee that Camelot can claim was unconstitutional. Miami Herald

Ways Privatization Failed America – Part 2. Paul Buchheit. Regulation is meant to protect all of us, but anti-government activists have worked hard to turn us against our own best interests. Truth-Out

The NYT Is Asking the Wrong Question About Rapid Turnover at Charter Schools. Motoko Rich has a very interesting piece in the New York Times about the rapid turnover at charter schools compared with traditional public schools, where the average teacher has about 14 years of experience as opposed to the two to five years you’ll find at charter schools. But I think she frames this information around the wrong question. Rich is asking, basically, whether it’s good for kids to have so much turnover. And I think the answer is obviously: No, it isn’t.  Slate Magazine