FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 30, 2011
CONTACT: Mark Hollis
Democratic Ranking Member Statement Regarding Prison Privatization Plan Ruled UnconstitutionalRep. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State Rep. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), the Democratic ranking member on the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding a circuit court ruling that a plan to privatize 29 Florida prisons is unconstitutional in the manner it was enacted by the Florida Legislature.
“Today’s ruling reaffirms that it is entirely inappropriate for legislative leaders to avoid a thorough debate about a controversial issue like prison privatization by tucking it in the fine print of the state budget.
“Privatizing prisons in Florida, and transferring state jobs to private companies, would be a major undertaking that, if considered at all, deserves sharp scrutiny by the Legislature and in the public eye. While I do not believe privatization is inherently wrong, there should be savings to the taxpayer and no compromise of public safety. Thus, full and fair debate is necessary."
The following link is to a copy of the order by Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford in the Second Judicial Circuit, Leon County:
Judge Fulford Sept. 30 Ruling re Prison Privatization
A panel of three federal judges ordered Texas not to move forward with redistricting plans for both congressional and state legislative seats until they are approved in court.
Justice Department lawyers have declared in court that they believe the congressional and statehouse redistricting plans signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry have been adopted at least in part for the purpose of "diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates." (Read more)
Atlantic magazine blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates weighs in on President Obama’s argument against focusing on the black community’s economic struggles. Coates agrees that a black agenda wouldn’t necessarily help the most vulnerable African Americans, but he also says it’s worth reviewing how interest groups influence policy in America. (Read more)
House Republicans yesterday released their draft budget proposal for labor, health, and human service, which in one fell swoop revives the assault on all their favorite bugaboos, including Planned Parenthood, National Public Radio, the National Labor Relations Board, and President Obama’s health care reform law. The GOP also targeted heat subsidies that prevent low-income families from freezing in the winter, and slashed education funding by $2.4 billion. The bill also eliminates the Administration’s “Race to the Top” education reform program and reduces eligibility for Pell Grants for low-income college students. (Read more)
The September 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about place-based learning in high-poverty schools; new policy pressures on Alabama teachers; a new sponsor for legislation to bring fairness to the Title I formulas; school discipline; poverty in the U.S.; charter school legislation; Rural School Funding News; and more…
More from the Rural Trust
Facts and Figures About States With Low Rural Graduation Rates
Question: In which states are average graduation rates for rural students below the U.S. rate? (Hint: U.S. rural graduation rate is 69.2%.)
Place-Based Learning Offers Opportunities for High-Poverty Rural Schools
Place-based learning is a way for schools struggling with poverty, isolation, and limited resources to expand opportunities for students, improve achievement, and strengthen the community, all at the same time…
Rural Winners of Lenore Annenberg School Fund Grant Delve Into Place-Based Learning
Teachers in two rural elementary schools recently participated in place-based learning workshops that will help engage their students in the local community…
Alabama Teachers In Political and Legal Crosshairs
Alabama uses back-door methods to limit the political activity of teachers…
New Co-Sponsor of All Children Are Equal Act
The All Children are Equal Act in the U.S. House of Representatives has a new co-sponsor…
Don’t Miss It!
Don’t miss commentary by Marty Strange, Rural Trust Policy Director, in Education Week…
Bill Would Expand Federal Funding for Charter Schools
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would increase federal funding for charter schools…
In The ‘Size Matters’ Category…
Missouri votes to diminish accreditation status of two very small rural school districts based on student test scores…
Poverty Increasing in Most States
It’s not news, but the increase in poverty in the U.S. since 2000 is striking. This interactive map shows state-by-state 30-year trends…
Alabama Immigration Law Impacting Schools Temporarily Halted
Alabama schools will not have to document and report the immigration status of their students…
Arkansas Considers Changes to Education Programs in Youth Lockups
Arkansas lawmakers contemplate giving authority for education in juvenile justice centers to local school districts…
South Dakota Lawsuit Ends
South Dakota’s Supreme Court has found that plaintiffs did not show the state’s school system was “clearly and unmistakably” unconstitutional…
Committee Releases Initial Proposals for School Funding in Georgia
A committee to recommend changes to Georgia’s 25-year old school finance system released its initial proposals this month…
Arizona Revisits Consolidation
Arizona legislators consider consolidation options for school districts…
School District Enrollment by Locale, 2009-10
A two-graph bonus of enrollment information about U.S. schools…
More from the Rural Trust
Rural Policy Matters is a monthly newsletter which provides news of interest to citizens and community groups working on state-level policy issues affecting rural schools. For subscription information visit www.ruraledu.org/getrpm.html.
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Editor: Robin Lambert, firstname.lastname@example.org
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