Watchdog Podcast: A Greek tragedy, school choice at the Supreme Court and political spy games in Wisconsin
Greece is in crisis after decades of over-spending finally caught up to it.
What lessons does the mess in Greece offer for American cities and states that have piled up debts in the public pension system?Read More →
Business development groups in Vermont are demanding to know how a $100,000 appropriation for fostering business with Quebec was awarded exclusively to Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, according to emails obtained by Vermont Watchdog.Read More →
On paper, going paperless in government makes sense. Staff armed with iPads can significantly reduce the time spent entering duplicative data for participants in government programs and increase efficiency in providing services, theoretically saving taxpayers.
Yet Winona County is paying dearly for being on the cutting edge of implementing an electronic data management system. What started out as a promised profit center based on selling EDMS software and services to other counties turned into a money pit that may never break even.
“We’re into it for multiple millions, and it was supposed to not be a burden on our taxpayers. It was supposed to be a blessing to our taxpayers,” said Steve Jacob, Winona County Board chair.Read More →
While many federal and state agencies are fighting tobacco use and alcohol abuse, about $140 million in Small Business Administration-backed loans to bars, liquor stores and cigarette shops — partly backed by taxpayer money — have defaulted, a Watchdog.org investigation found.Read More →
While school spending does not necessarily predict success, high poverty rates usually predict low achievement. But six schools in the Pittsburgh area are finding ways to prove the latter wrong.
Flexibility is one of the features that sets apart these schools, says the report and a principal of one of these schools confirms. This seems bolstered by the fact that nontraditional schools make up more than half of the schools either in the high-performing group or on the cusp.Read More →