The Republican Bid to Kill the ACAIs a Trojan Horse

People received free dental work last month during the Seattle/King County Clinic, a four-day event that also offered free vision care and other health services. (Photo: David Ryder/Reuters)

by Julie Chinitz

In his last five years, my grandfather used Medicaid to cover his nursing-home care. He spent those years in a wheelchair and needed professional help for his most basic needs. Thanks to Medicaid, he got that help. Now House Speaker Paul Ryan and his fellow Republicans want to gut the program, as Ryan revealed in a set of talking points that received shockingly little press coverage. The changes that House GOP leaders are proposing for our health care are radical — far more radical than repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) standing alone. The House GOP plan uses ACA repeal as a Trojan horse for throwing health care for more than 74 million people
into chaos.


‘Alternative’ Education: Using Charter Schools to Hide Dropouts and Game the System

Sunshine High School in Orlando is located in Oakhill Village, a strip mall on Old Winter Garden Road.

by Heather Vogell and Hannah Fresques, ProPublica February 21, 2017

Tucked among posh gated communities, and meticulously landscaped shopping centers, Olympia High School in Orlando offers more than two dozen Advanced Placement courses, even more afterschool clubs, and an array of sports from bowling to water polo. U.S. News and World Report ranked it among the nation’s top 1,000 high schools last year. Big letters painted in brown on one campus building urge its more than 3,000 students to “Finish Strong.” Olympia’s success in recent years, however, has been linked to another, quite different school five miles away. Last school year, 137 students assigned to Olympia’s attendance zone instead attended Sunshine High, a charter alternative school run by a forprofit


Supreme Court calls for further review of Virginia legislative map

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lower court to continue examining Virginia state legislative districts for racial gerrymandering. | John Shinkle/POLITICO


Democrats claimed victory Wednesday as the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lower court to continue examining Virginia state districts for racial gerrymandering, ruling that a district court had failed to properly evaluate whether the Virginia House of Delegates’ legislative map is unconstitutional. Voters backed by Democratic attorneys had challenged 12 state House of Delegates districts, arguing they were unconstitutionally gerrymandered by race. Justice Anthony Kennedy — writing for Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal-leaning members — wrote that the district court had wrongly ruled that the use of racial demographic data to draw the districts, including a target that their voting-age populations be at least 55 percent African-American


Democrats hope Trump backlash begins in this ruby-red House seat

SANDY SPRINGS, GA. – Jon Ossoff told about 150 of his supporters Wednesday night that they had a chance to start the electoral backlash to President Donald Trump. Most of them hardly needed convincing from this Democratic congressional candidate – even if they live in the heart of a longtime Republican stronghold. “This is the first chance in the country for us to make a statement about what we stand for,” said Ossoff, speaking in a Jewish temple in Sandy Springs, Georgia, a suburb north of Atlanta. “It’s the first chance in the country we have to make a statement that America can be strong and prosperous and secure without sacrificing our core values.”


Jeff Sessions Reverses Obama-Era Policy That Curtailed DOJ’s Private Prison Use

Attorney General Jefff Sessions

By Ryan J. Reilly , Ben Walsh

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday withdrew an Obama-era Justice Department memo that set a goal of reducing and ultimately ending the Justice Department’s use of private prisons. In a one-page memo to the acting head of the Bureau of Prisons, Sessions wrote that the August 2016 memo by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates “changed longstanding policy and practice, and impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.” A Justice Department spokesman said Sessions’ memo “directs the Bureau of Prisons to return to its previous approach to the use of private prisons,” which would “restore BOP’s flexibility to manage the federal prison inmate population based on capacity needs.”

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New OSD School Takeover Bill (House Bill 338) Must Be Defeated

By Georgia Federation of Teachers

Although the citizens of Georgia overwhelming said NO to the takeover of their schools per the OSD/Amendment 1, there are still forces at the capitol trying to realize and implement OSD/school takeover by statute. Senate Bill 30 addresses comprehensive solutions for schools and children who are in poverty. However, the new OSD/ House Bill 338 is more of the same governance and money grab spun another way. There are no education achievement solutions within House Bill 338 . HB 338 creates a two year process to improve the achievement of low performing schools in the state. That process is to be overseen by a Chief Turnaround officer and implemented by Turnaround coaches.

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