"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

School Construction Funds Cut From Stimulus

As I noted in an earlier post, one of the last things the Business Roundtable crowd wanted to see in the Stimulus was enough money to carry forward a national building renewal plan for public education, or enough state education assistance to remove the incentive from cash-starved states to accept Duncan's upcoming federal bribes to open more charter chain gangs. After all, who wants a charter school in a strip mall when you have s shiny, renovated public school to attend? Lost in the axing was $20 billion for school construction.

Will Secretary Duncan, or the Chief School Portfolio Manager as he likes to call himself, prevail with his plans to turn over American schools to business interests to do for public education what they have done for their own domain of expertise--business? Are we ready to accept the bankrupt notion that children's education should be treated as a business, or are we really ready to swallow the phony free-market rhetoric that would allow CEOs to replace public governance in the institutions that contain our most precious assets? Are we ready to allow the tax-dodging edupreneurs to bring down a public education system and a teaching profession that took almost 200 years to build up?

And what's with the President's lip service to school construction during his press conference the other night? Couldn't he manage a few nickels to at least offer a pretense that renewal of public schools has a chance?

In the meantime, here is a clip from Raw Story on the backlog of corporate fraud investigations that will take years to get through. More unaccountable lawyers and CEOs in charge, anyone? Anyone?

WASHINGTON — The FBI is conducting more than 500 investigations of corporate fraud amid the financial meltdown, FBI Deputy Director John Pistole told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, and there is an even bigger mountain of mortgage fraud cases in which hundreds of millions of dollars may have been swindled from the system.

Pistole says there are 530 active corporate fraud investigations, and 38 of them involve corporate fraud and financial institution matters directly related to the economic crisis.

Additionally, the FBI has more than 1,800 mortgage fraud investigations, more than double the number of such cases just two years ago.

There are so many mortgage fraud cases, he said, that the bureau is not focusing on individual purchasers, but industry professionals generating fraud schemes that could total as much as hundreds of millions of dollars.

"It is a matter of lawyers, brokers or real estate professionals that are systematically trying to defraud the system," Pistole said. . . .


  1. Thanks for bringing this to light. I mentioned it in a recent post decrying Obama's stimulus plan and how it neglected to fund good opportunities for education at http://edublog.teacherjay.net/2009/02/12/economically-stimulating-students/

  2. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Many people bidding for many of these government funded construction projects will be left out in the cold if they do not have their OSHA training. Several states (NY, CT, MA, RI, NH, and MO) have laws requiring workers on publically-funded jobsites to take the OSHA 10 hour construction training class, like the ones available at www.osha10hourtraining.com . Without the OSHA card, they cannot get on the site. Many general contractors also have the same requirement for minimum OSHA training. So be prepared, do not wait until the last minute.