From the annals of state austerity budgets…

To the Editor: Thank you for your editorial about Illinois and Kansas as examples of states where policy makers do more harm than good (“Sorry Tales From Two Statehouses,” April 25). Illinois’ record 10-month budget impasse is eroding much of its educational and social service systems. According to a poll …

Crowdfunding for the Public Good Is Evil | WIRED

Important article about the slippery slope from an underpaid teacher crowdfunding for classroom supplies to a bankruptcy city crowdfunding to clean up its parks. Crowdfunding is great when it funds new products that aren’t getting supported by more conventional forms of investment: Public necessities, by contrast, are not awesome; they’re …

BART gets real

Infrastructure may not be sexy, but you tend to notice when it crumbles around you. BART has been having all kinds of problems lately, and its twitter account manager isn’t pulling any punches. @tquad64 Planners in 1996 had no way of predicting the tech boom – track redundancy, new tunnels …

Detroit loses power, literally.

Detroit — A widespread power outage Tuesday that caused evacuations of buildings throughout downtown is “another reminder of how much work we still have to do to rebuild the city,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. Duggan, speaking at an afternoon press conference, said Detroit is in the early stages of a …

The death of a school district

Heartbreaking story of a Michigan school district that elected to literally shut its doors last week in response to a budget crisis. Teachers voted to work for free (after also voting for four years in a row to freeze their salaries and reduce their numbers by 50%), but the school …

Let the austerity begin

One of the first lines of cuts at the bottom of the “fiscal cliff” (or one of the first victims of the austerity bomb) will be local public education. Schools that serve poor and English-language learning children receive more federal money, so will be hit the hardest. The cuts would …