Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘privatization’

Ohio’s Voucher Program: End Run Around The Establishment Clause?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 12, 2011

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America runs thus:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion

The Supreme has in the past judged — twice — that it forbids public funding of parochial schools.

So how, then, is the State of Ohio able to get away with this:

Terri Seymour, a Colerain [Ohio] Township mother of an EdChoice eighth-grader, is happy that her daughter, Amanda, was able to move from a Mount Healthy elementary school that she deemed too easy to two more challenging Catholic schools, most recently St. Clement School in St. Bernard.

“It’s made her brand new,” Seymour said of Amanda.

Somebody should tell Ms. Seymour that if she wants her daughter to do well in mathematics — which is essential to careers in business or any of the sciences — she’d better put her back into public school, as a 2006 study found that public-school kids get much better math educations than those in conservative Christian schools:

The Education Department reported on Friday that children in public schools generally performed as well or better in reading and mathematics than comparable children in private schools. The exception was in eighth-grade reading, where the private school counterparts fared better.

The report, which compared fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores in 2003 from nearly 7,000 public schools and more than 530 private schools, found that fourth graders attending public school did significantly better in math than comparable fourth graders in private schools. Additionally, it found that students in conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind their counterparts in public schools on eighth-grade math.

Furthermore, why is public money being shoveled at non-public schools, religious or otherwise, without any form of accountability? From the Cincinnati Enquirer article linked above, wherein we met Terri Seymour:

Six years after Ohio taxpayers began paying private-school tuition for what is now more than 15,000 students, the state is not reporting academic results for about half of them.

Scam, scam, scam.

Posted in 'starving the beast', education | Tagged: , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Dear Trucking Companies: John Mica Hates You.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 24, 2011

Right now, dingbat greedhead representative John Mica (R-Florida) is holding the nation’s roads, rails and transit systems hostage — apparently so he can privatize them for his buddies, just as he shut down the FAA in order to screw us all over on behalf of his buddies at Delta and how he wants to destroy privatize Amtrak.

The trucking industry doesn’t want to see the nation’s roads privatized a la Mica because it would mean a curtailment of the number of roads on which trucks are allowed to travel. (How many private-road owners would allow trucks and other heavy, pavement-pounding vehicles to roll on their roads without first paying big fat tolls that would amount to far more than the industry currently pays in taxes?) And a curtailment of truck traffic would severely impair the flow of goods, thus putting yet another stressor on an already-weak economy.

That’s probably why pieces like this one, which ever-so-politely shows the downsides of “public-private partnerships” (i.e., privatization), are appearing in trucking-industry circles:

The OIG found that PPPs have a higher cost of capital than traditional public financing, and they incur certain tax obligations that do not exist for public entities. On the other hand, private sector efficiencies that can offset cost disadvantages include lowering new facility design and construction costs, as well as generally more efficient revenue generation [PW butts in: Aka “we’ll hit you up for more in tolls than you pay now in taxes to maintain this road”].

The OIG also found that PPPs are not likely to significantly decrease the infrastructure funding gap because private sector investment in transportation through PPPs generally does not entail new or incremental funds.

The OIG report is here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

DeVos Family Behind School Privatization Push Disguised as “Choice”

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 9, 2011


Another day, another unearthed set of right-wing billionaires out to destroy the foundations of America.

You’ve heard of the Koch brothers, Charles and David, and their father Fred (who helped found and fund the John Birch Society). Now meet the family behind Amway, Blackwater (now Xe) and the decades-long plot — in the name of vouchers and “school choice” — to destroy free public education in the United States.

I speak of the DeVos Family:

The decades-long campaign to end public education is propelled by the super-wealthy, right-wing DeVos family. Betsy Prince DeVos is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the notorious private military contractor Blackwater USA (now Xe), and wife of Dick DeVos, son of the co-founder of Amway, the multi-tiered home products business.

(Let me stop right there and urge you, unless the name “Erik Prince” is already burned irrevocably into your memory, to go check out this article in The Nation to find out a bit more about him. You can also go here and here to learn more about this dangerously rich, dangerously militant Dominionist Rushdoonyite Christian. And if you don’t know who R.J. Rushdoony is, go here first.)

So what have the DeVoses and their buddies been doing? Stuff like this: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

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