Connecting state and local government leaders

Florida Schools Turned Into ‘Failure Factories’; Baltimore’s Big Tech Dreams

Joseph Sohm /


Connecting state and local government leaders

Also: Iowa’s big LED streetlamp leap and Boise homelessness lawsuit’s national impact.

Here’s some of what we’ve been reading this weekend ...

PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida: School board leaders in Pinellas County “stood by and did nothing” as their policies to end integration and failure to provide promised resources transformed five elementary schools in black neighborhoods into “failure factories,” according to a blistering Tampa Bay Times investigation. The schools in question “were much better off a decade ago” but now they’re among the worst in the entire state of Florida. [Tampa Bay Times]   

BALTIMORE, Maryland: The head of the public-private partnership formed in the wake of Baltimore’s April riots, OneBaltimore, has a big goal for Charm City: Michael Cryor, Baltimore Brew reports, wants Baltimore to become “the No. 1 city in America per capita” in creating high-tech jobs. That’s no easy task. In fact, it will take “5, 10, 15 years to realign our culture, our expectations, our preparations, if Baltimore is to move in the direction we want,” Cryor said in recent public remarks. [Baltimore Brew]

DES MOINES, Iowa: The largest electric power utility in the Hawkeye State will be replacing more than 100,000 streetlights with more energy efficient LED light fixtures over the next decade. As Radio Iowa reports, MidAmerican Energy will be changing streetlights in cities like Des Moines, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Council Bluffs and Waterloo. [Radio Iowa]

SAN FRANCISCO, California: How will a recent move by the U.S. Justice Department on a lawsuit in Boise, Idaho, involving the criminalization of homelessness shape how other cities address their major challenges with homelessness? As the San Francisco Chronicle points out, although the Justice Department’s recent statement on a lawsuit in Boise is not legally binding, “it sent a broader signal of where the federal government stands on homelessness and showed the department’s willingness to get involved when it smells injustice.” So cities that criminalize homelessness but don’t provide adequate alternatives and services could be on notice. [San Francisco Chronicle via SFGate]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty.

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