Public and private money in San Francisco schools

Unlike some California school districts, which centralize and redistribute funds raised by parents, San Francisco so far has permitted all money raised at a school to stay there. This gives some schools an enormous advantage. School district data show that in 2011 (the most recent year tax records were available), parents of children …

San Jose Clears Out Its Homeless Camp

A city memo from this fall estimates a shortage of 16,000 affordable housing units. But resources to deal with that shortage have dwindled as well. In California, redevelopment funds from the state had been a reliable means of developing affordable housing, but when California was facing its severe budget deficits …

What it means to privatize the justice system

Great article about the consequences of turning over parts of the criminal justice system to private, for-profit companies. How do the companies make money? By charging offenders on probation for their own monitoring, and by racking up fines and interest charges on the cost of traffic tickets and small court …

The ongoing saga of wealthy Brooklynites

(Leaving the connection between austerity and gentrification/displacement to the reader…) This is one of the seemingly never-ending series of New York Times articles about wealthy young people having to leave uber-hip neighborhoods for new, cheaper destinations (like Queens and Jersey!). I read the Times pretty faithfully, and these articles never …

Fat-Cat Administrators at the Top 25 – NYTimes.com

It’s not hard to find examples of the uneven implementation and consequences of austerity. A great study out last week by the Institute of Policy Studies looks at several indicators at public universities and finds some interesting correlations. The student debt crisis is worse at state schools with the highest-paid …

Return of Debtors’ Prisons – NYTimes.com

A bit far afield maybe, but an interesting bit of fallout from the recession and the continued squeezing of government: This devastating problem has gotten far worse the past five years, the result of budget-strapped state courts looking for sources of revenue and ever more poor people becoming ensnared in …