Today's news -- August 2, 2017

 

 

 

Duval should join lawsuit against Legislature’s bullying *

Republicans in the Florida Legislature have been trying to dismantle our public school system for years now. The tactics have been varied. Budget cuts have left schools struggling to pay for things as basic as supplies. Ever-changing testing requirements have turned curricula into rote exercises, created confusion and left false impressions of schools being “failure factories,” as state Rep. Jason Fischer of Jacksonville is fond of blurting out. Behind the push by Republicans is, in part, a disdain for teachers unions. And as much as they would like to convince you that it’s all about the children, it’s about the money, lots of money, that charter school companies -- the apple of the Republicans’ eyes -- want to grab. Former Duval Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti was absolutely right in his retort to Fischer’s “failure factories” description when he said what was being created were “profit factories.” That’s particularly true of the latest battle over House Bill 7069, a pet project of House Speaker Richard Corcoran that was put together in the last minutes of the legislative session and approved by the full Legislature. It’s a battle that the Duval County School Board should join. The bill would require school districts to share property tax dollars used for school construction and maintenance with charter schools. That would cost Duval County’s traditional public schools, many of which are more than long in the tooth, millions of dollars. Private charter school companies would be the beneficiaries. The public would be the loser when charter schools fail, which some will inevitably do. School districts across the state are fighting back with at least five planning a statewide lawsuit and a dozen more considering taking that action. The districts have a solid legal argument that the new law is unconstitutional because charter schools would end up with large chunks of public money with little oversight. Particularly troubling is the part of the law that funds a program called “Schools of Hope.” That program allows charter schools to use money from a $140 million fund to open in areas where elementary and middle schools have been rated D or F for at least three years in a row. Those grades themselves are questionable, and so is shuttering public schools that are the fabric of neighborhoods. When Duval’s board members started talking about joining in the lawsuits, Fischer and Corcoran moved into bullying mode. They called for an audit of Duval’s finances, citing questions about whether the district spent $21 million more than was budgeted in operating expenses last year. School officials had already planned to have an independent auditor look into last year’s spending. It is certainly worthy of inquiry, but the state doesn’t need to poke its nose into local business. Fischer, who served on the School Board before being elected to the Legislature, should know better. But now that he’s a big, bad state representative, he’s throwing his weight around and trying to use the threat of a state audit to get the board to not participate in what he calls a “frivolous” lawsuit. Trying to protect the funding for our traditional public schools is not frivolous. That should be the main goal of our locally elected School Board. Either join with the other districts fighting this bad law or file a separate lawsuit.

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/ron-littlepage/2017-08-01/ron-littlepage-duval-school-board-should-join-lawsuit-against

 

Sarasota School Board decides against entering legal fight

http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170801/school-board-decides-against-entering-legal-fight

 

Conservative poll: Support for charter schools plummets

https://dianeravitch.net/2017/08/02/ednext-poll-support-for-charter-schools-plummets/

 

Broward school district exempts Pembroke Pines from its charter school battle

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/education/fl-pembroke-pines-school-tax-20170731-story.html

 

St. Lucie teachers, non-instructional employees locked into new contracts (Vicki Rodriguez quoted)
http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/education/st-lucie-county-schools/2017/08/01/st-lucie-county-teachers-non-instructional-employees-locked-into-new-contracts-2017-18/528370001/

 

Manatee district, union begin negotiations on teacher pay (Bruce Proud quoted)
http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/education/article164837622.html

 

Teachers anxious about controversial education bill as new school year nears

http://wsvn.com/news/investigations/teachers-anxious-about-controversial-education-bill-as-new-school-year-nears/

http://www.greenepublishing.com/education-could-mccs-be-forced-to-close/

 

Hillsborough school budget passes first test despite teacher and parent concerns

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/hillsborough-school-budget-passes-first-test-despite-teacher-and-parent/2332319

 

It's nice lawmakers restored recess, but just 20 lousy minutes?

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/daniel-ruth-its-nice-lawmakers-restored-recess-but-just-20-lousy-minutes/2332228?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 

Chicago’s school funding disaster just got a lot worse

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/08/01/chicagos-school-funding-disaster-just-got-a-lot-worse/?utm_term=.2aa13952230d

 

Feds to take on affirmative action in college admissions

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times. The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the division’s front office, where the Trump administration’s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants and normally handles work involving schools and universities. The document does not explicitly identify whom the Justice Department considers at risk of discrimination because of affirmative action admissions policies. But the phrasing it uses, “intentional race-based discrimination,” cuts to the heart of programs designed to bring more minority students to university campuses. Supporters and critics of the project said it was clearly targeting admissions programs that can give members of generally disadvantaged groups, like black and Latino students, an edge over other applicants with comparable or higher test scores. The project is another sign that the civil rights division is taking on a conservative tilt under President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It follows other changes in Justice Department policy on voting rights, gay rights and police reforms. Kristen Clarke, the president of the liberal Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, criticized the affirmative action project as “misaligned with the division’s longstanding priorities.” She noted that the civil rights division was “created and launched to deal with the unique problem of discrimination faced by our nation’s most oppressed minority groups,” performing work that often no one else has the resources or expertise to do. “This is deeply disturbing,” she said. “It would be a dog whistle that could invite a lot of chaos and unnecessarily create hysteria among colleges and universities who may fear that the government may come down on them for their efforts to maintain diversity on their campuses.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/trump-affirmative-action-universities.html?ncid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__080217&_r=0

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-department-plans-new-project-to-sue-universities-over-affirmative-action-policies/2017/08/01/6295eba4-772b-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html?utm_term=.bdf49e1ad94e

 

Education Department delivers troubling message about loan forgiveness program

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/08/01/education-department-delivers-a-troubling-message-about-its-loan-forgiveness-program/?utm_term=.47e6fcb4fe82

 

DeVos drops plan to overhaul student loan servicing

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/01/devos-student-loans-241221

 

Princeton Review praises New College again

http://www.heraldtribune.com/news/20170801/princeton-review-praises-new-college-of-florida-again

 

State economy thrives, while median wages remain the same

http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/local/economy-thrives-while-median-wages-remain-the-same/article_5bf2093e-7714-11e7-99c5-77e858e31020.html

 

Union reps confident about wage negotiations with Disney

http://orlando-rising.com/union-reps-confident-about-wage-negotiations-with-disney/

 

State is wasting too much of our money on lawsuits

http://www.tcpalm.com/story/opinion/editorials/2017/08/01/florida-wasting-too-much-our-money-lawsuits-another-view/530626001/

 

State reports first sexually transmitted Zika infection of 2017

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article164825347.html

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/vital-signs/os-zika-first-sexually-transmitted-case-20170801-story.html

 

Financial missteps and red tape delay help for sexually exploited children

http://www.tampabay.com/news/financial-missteps-and-red-tape-delay-help-for-sexually-exploited-children/2332145?utm_source=TBT_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daystarter&utm_email=6575d82b873cf5ef9faac9fbc241bd1f

 

South Carolina construction shutdown should signal state's nuke demise, critics say

http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/08/02/sc-construction-shutdown-signals-floridas-nuclear-demise-critics-say-113735

 

Broward elections supervisor makes changes after being sued

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-sb-broward-election-supervisor-testifies-20170728-story.html

 

July was hottest month ever in Miami

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/article164727262.html?#emlnl=Afternoon_Newsletter

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/weather/fl-reg-hot-july-20170801-story.html

 

Trump is about to make America much crueler to unionized workers

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-unionized-workers-9bd4ee89346d

 

Kelly’s biggest challenge will be blunting Trump’s instincts on Russia investigation

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/1/16069062/john-kelly-trump-mueller-firing

 

White House says Trump weighed in on son’s statement “as any father would”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/08/01/white-house-says-trump-weighed-in-on-sons-russia-meeting-statement-as-any-father-would/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.b5052c348d86

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/trump-was-involved-in-drafting-sons-statement-aide-confirms.html?emc=edit_th_20170802&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

https://thinkprogress.org/sanders-trump-good-dad-russia-c68e72666755

 

Trump “obstructed justice” with role in statement, says ex-White House lawyer

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/01/trump-russia-statement-richard-painter-obstruction-justice?CMP=edit_2221

 

Kushner says Trump campaign was too dysfunctional to collude

https://apnews.com/4304dbc83cec4b76ace144121cce8d14?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

 

Tillerson spurns $80 million to counter ISIS, Russian propaganda

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/02/tillerson-isis-russia-propaganda-241218

 

Russia hacked our election because the spies took over

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/08/02/russia-hacked-our-election-because-the-spies-took-over/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.ac9bec1977e3

 

U.S. judge denies Common Cause effort to block Trump voter commission

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/us-judge-denies-common-cause-effort-to-block-trump-voter-commission/2017/08/01/57abf36c-76d3-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.4dd303c5b194

 

Court ruling throws a wrench in Trump’s Obamacare sabotage plan

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/court-ruling-could-help-keep-obamacare-subsidies/2017/08/01/85b3ab66-7727-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html?utm_term=.626aa046ff75

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/court-trump-obamacare-sabotage_us_598128c6e4b09d24e993d470?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=__TheMorningEmail__080217&utm_content=__TheMorningEmail__080217+CID_85c7604aec3e96566061ec6feb1cfa43&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=HuffPost&ncid=newsltushpmgnews__TheMorningEmail__080217

 

Republicans urge Trump to keep critical health subsidies for low-income people

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/01/donald-trump-healthcare-cut-subsidies-low-income?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=237698&subid=7590566&CMP=GT_US_collection

 

Would Trump violate the Constitution by making Obamacare fail?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/08/01/would-trump-violate-the-constitution-by-making-obamacare-fail/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.48829cf645e4

 

Sanders preps campaign for single-payer health care, with legislation to follow

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/08/01/sanders-preps-month-long-campaign-for-single-payer-health-care-with-legislation-to-follow/?utm_term=.a3118f5556bd

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/02/bernie-sanders-universal-healthcare-medicare-single-payer?CMP=edit_2221

 

Republicans in Congress bypass Trump to shore up health law

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/senators-launch-bipartisan-effort-to-shore-up-obamacare.html?emc=edit_th_20170802&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

“Time to move on”: Senate GOP flouts Trump after health care defeat

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/senate-gop-flouts-trump-after-health-care-defeat.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170801&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Debt-ceiling talks between White House, Senate break up with no progress

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/08/01/debt-ceiling-talks-between-white-house-senate-break-up-with-no-progress/?utm_term=.1e51617803da&wpisrc=al_alert-COMBO-politics%252Beconomy&wpmk=1

 

Mnuchin pushes for “clean” debt ceiling boost

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/01/clean-debt-ceiling-boost-steve-mnuchin-241200

 

Between now and the debt-limit deadline the House is in session for only 12 days

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/08/01/between-now-and-the-debt-limit-deadline-sept-29-the-house-is-in-session-for-only-12-days/?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.935aab8d9f20

 

After health care victory, Senate Democrats seek compromise on tax plan

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/after-health-care-victory-senate-democrats-seek-compromise-with-tax-plan.html?emc=edit_cn_20170802&nl=first-draft&nl_art=&nlid=3179832&ref=headline&te=1

 

Action on Trump’s tax cut plan could be delayed until next year

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/action-on-trumps-tax-cut-plan-could-be-delayed-until-next-year/2017/08/01/cc4e32d4-76e7-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html?utm_term=.1b715b6c284b

 

Sessions steers clear of Trump’s “joke” about police use of force

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/jeff-sessions-trump-joke-use-of-force-by-police.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170801&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Acting drug agency chief hits Trump for “condoning police misconduct”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/01/donald-trump-police-misconduct-speech-dea-response?CMP=edit_2221

 

Three Miami police chiefs condemn Trump's endorsement of police brutality

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/two-miami-police-chiefs-condemn-trumps-police-brutality-speech-9540308

 

Homeland Security to bypass environmental laws in border wall work

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/homeland-security-to-bypass-environmental-laws-in-border-wall-work.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytpolitics&smtyp=cur

 

Ryan just can’t wait to spend billions and billions on Trump’s border wall

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/08/02/paul-ryan-just-cant-wait-to-spend-billions-and-billions-on-trumps-border-wall-really/?utm_term=.2b690198d8cf

 

Senate confirms Atlanta attorney Christopher Wray to lead FBI

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/chris-wray-fbi-director-confirmed.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170801&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

http://www.myajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/senate-confirms-atlanta-attorney-christopher-wray-lead-fbi/76WceIlaJ6erBpmZ5jFa0M/?ecmp=newspaper_email&

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-confirms-christopher-a-wray-as-next-fbi-director/2017/08/01/63ce5998-76f4-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html?utm_term=.0cdf56d5eef8

 

Coast Guard still supports transgender troops, commandant says

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/coast-guard-commandant-general-zukunft-transgender-troops.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170801&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

15 states appeal EPA delay of stricter air-quality standards

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/states-appeal-epa-delay?utm_content=buffer4143e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

FDA has six inspectors for 3 million shipments of cosmetics

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/us/politics/fda-has-6-inspectors-for-3-million-shipments-of-cosmetics.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170802&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Kushner on Mideast peace: "What do we offer that's unique? I don't know."

https://www.wired.com/story/jared-kushner-middle-east

https://thinkprogress.org/jared-kushners-secret-plan-to-create-middle-east-peace-without-reading-books-or-learning-history-48626a74b377

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/01/jared-kushner-leaked-speech-middle-east-215445

 

Is Trump scheming to kill the Iran deal?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/opinion/trump-killing-iran-nuclear-deal.html?emc=edit_th_20170802&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Sources: Trump administration to take action against China

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/01/trump-china-trade-241233

 

Lindsey Graham: Trump said he will bomb North Korea if it keeps testing missiles

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/1/16075198/trump-lindsey-graham-north-korea-war

 

State Department considers scrubbing democracy promotion from its mission

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2017/08/01/state-department-considers-scrubbing-democracy-promotion-from-its-mission/?utm_term=.128359986824

 

Three truths about the Trump presidency

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/behind-the-crazy-headlines-three-truths-about-the-trump-presidency?mbid=social_twitter

 

Can anyone get a handle on the president who handles everything?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/can-anyone-get-a-handle-on-the-president-who-handles-everything/2017/08/01/ed2d5a84-76f1-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html?utm_term=.d74c3f9011f3

 

Time for Bannon to start worrying?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/opinion/bannon-trump-devils-bargain.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170801&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y

 

Trump reportedly described White House as a “real dump”

https://apnews.com/4442f70f89b4440e86763b933af48a85/Trump-reportedly-described-White-House-as-a-'real-dump?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

 

Trump loyalist mixes businesses and access at “advisory” firm

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/corey-lewandowski-trump.html?emc=edit_th_20170802&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

 

Lawsuit asserts White House role in Fox News article on Seth Rich

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/business/media/seth-rich-fox-news-white-house-lawsuit.html?emc=edit_th_20170802&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=3179832

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/lawsuit-alleges-white-house-link-in-seth-rich-conspiracy-theory/2017/08/01/dc39b214-76f5-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html?utm_term=.8b9ad2bbab72

http://www.npr.org/2017/08/01/540783715/lawsuit-alleges-fox-news-and-trump-supporter-created-fake-news-story

https://thinkprogress.org/lawsuit-trump-reviewed-bogus-fox-news-story-on-seth-rich-a6c68c34c86

 

Spicer had notice of discredited Fox News story on DNC aide's death

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/01/sean-spicer-seth-rich-fox-news-story-dnc-aide-death?CMP=edit_2221

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/you-dont-have-to-believe-everything-that-seth-rich-lawsuit-whats-been-confirmed-is-bad-enough/2017/08/01/c7516060-76cb-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.1f23ff022a7c

 

Full transcript: Trump’s Wall Street Journal interview

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/01/trump-wall-street-journal-interview-full-transcript-241214

 

Former Fox News executive said to be considered for White House job

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/business/media/bill-shine-fox-news-white-house.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170801&nlid=3179832&tntemail0=y&_r=0

 

Manigault keeping dossiers on journalists

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4641430/amp/Omarosa-keeping-dossiers-Trump-enemies.html

 

 

 

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