WILL SMALLER BE BETTER? Fewer students means fewer teachers. How school districts decide to make the cut will determine the quality of education in the years ahead.

Which teachers will go first as schools shrink?

By  |  April 27, 2015  |  No Comments

Falling birth rates will cut school attendance in the coming years, but just 18 states require that competence be considered when laying off teachers. That means union-crafted seniority rules will drive the process in most districts, further compromising the quality of public education.

Photo from Flickr Commons

Rise of the ‘silver collar’ workforce: When a four-year degree isn’t the right move

Energy and Environment  |  4:00 am

Skilled workers are currently in such demand that instead of being called “blue collar” workers, they’re now called “silver collar” workers.

Photo credit: Twitter

Labor unions take forced fees from 550,000 nonmembers

Labor  |  4:00 am

More than half a million workers were forced to pay labor unions in 2014, U.S. Department of Labor filings reveal.

Courtesy VA

Lincoln mayor reverses course on VA subsidies, police ask questions

Nebraska  |  4:00 am

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler did an about-face on subsidizing a small foundation’s ambitious plan to redevelop the VA campus in Lincoln. Separately, Lincoln police officers began asking questions about the project.

Photo by Bruce Parker

Some Mississippi state-owned parks ban guns despite open carry law

Mississippi  |  4:00 am

A few Mississippi state-owned parks ban guns despite state laws giving firearms owners the right to carry within their boundaries.

Photo via Wiki Commons

Man bites dog: Politicians vote against spending public money on soccer stadium

Minnesota  |  April 24, 2015

Here’s a story that doesn’t often get written: Politicians in Minnesota voted against spending public money on a new stadium.

Photo courtesy of Karen Rowell

Burlington resident says neighborhood against EPA-backed bike lanes

Vermont  |  April 24, 2015

A resident of Burlington’s New North End claims her neighborhood overwhelmingly opposes adding EPA-backed bike lanes on North Avenue. And she has the petitions to prove it.

Photo Courtesy OU Website

OU clears Confucius Institute but some question review

Education  |  April 24, 2015

The University of Oklahoma completed its review of their Confucius Institute, finding no wrong doing, but a critic of CI questioned the thoroughness of the investigation.

Photo courtesy of The Buckeye Institute

Ohio budget bill ends union Project Labor Agreements in bidding process

Ohio  |  April 24, 2015

The Ohio House passed the annual biennial budget bill but included a provision unions opposed: the end of project labor agreements in the bidding process.

AP file photo

Holder’s ‘Choke Point’ is strangling American business

Wisconsin  |  March 13, 2015

By M.D. Kittle | Watchdog.org

North Carolina businessman Brennan Appel found his successful company caught in the crosshairs of murky U.S. Department of Justice initiative targeting merchants that don’t fit into the Obama administration’s idea of what an American business ought to be.

SECRETIVE ABOUT SALARIES: Throop officials tried to keep salary records under wraps, but the state Office of Open Records ruled against the borough.

Close enough for government work: This town reveals the problem with family and politics

Pennsylvania  |  April 23, 2015

Watchdog.org was able to muster the resources to see the project through — including lawyers familiar with the ins and outs of open-records laws, the money to pay them and a reporter who simply refused to give up. But it shouldn’t take determined reporters, skillful lawyers and months of back-and-forth to get the public basic information about how their government works.

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Jon Stewart obliterates ‘slimy’ Democrats over Gruber

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West Rankin Utility Authority wins key battle in fight to build new treatment plant

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The West Rankin Utility Authority won a key battle Tuesday in its fight to build a new wastewater treatment plant and leave Jackson’s aging facility.