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Posted inStudent Voice

Private companies should not profit from inmates’ telephone calls

Despite the state of the world due to COVID-19 restrictions, neither phone fees for inmates nor fees for commissary items have been decreased in the state of Connecticut, even though these fees have been decreased in other states such as  Arkansas due to the pandemic. There is no excuse as to why Connecticut is unable to compromise these fees for inmates and their families during these difficult times.

Posted inStudent Voice

No-bid contracts: Insight to outsourcing oversights

It is no secret that the current COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. Among one of the greatest concerns of this new global reality is rising unemployment rates. In Connecticut, the dramatic increase in unemployment has left the state’s Department of Labor overburdened with requests for unemployment benefits. In response, Gov. Ned Lamont invoked his emergency powers in late September to contract with two private companies, Protiviti and Maximus, to help manage the increased number of requests.

Posted inStudent Voice

Can the big yellow school bus make it out of the pandemic alive?

As someone who grew up in Connecticut and someone who rode the big yellow school bus for years, I can’t imagine those big yellow buses out of business. When students were transitioned to remote learning, buses remained idle for months. Even though the virus created a budget deficit, state and local governments should have required all Connecticut public schools to pay private bus companies.

Posted inStudent Voice

To deliver or not deliver: Facing privatization and long-term impacts on the U.S. Postal Service

Throughout the global pandemic, many Americans began to understand the magnitude and impact of the United States Postal Service within their daily life. Many Americans experienced drastic mail and package delays during this pandemic. The biggest critiques faced by the USPS concern the agency’s accountability and true efficiency. However, the USPS cannot operate efficiently amid the loss of funding.

Posted inStudent Voice

Connecticut charter schools take advantage of PPP funding, while traditional public schools are left behind

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, charter schools in Connecticut accepted loans from the Small Business Administration Payment Protection Program (PPP). The paycheck protection program is a federal program, implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, that provides loans to small businesses to incentivize them to keep their workers on payroll. They come with low interest rates, two to five years to pay back the loan, and no small business fees. None of these loans were available to traditional public schools, as they are not considered businesses.

Posted inStudent Voice

The reprivatization of Fannie and Freddie will blunt improvement of racial wealth gap

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac perform a significant role in the housing market, controlling nearly half of the $10 trillion U.S. home loan market. The Trump administration has vowed to end the Fannie and Freddie conservatorship relationship, directly causing mortgages to become more expensive and harder to receive. This will destabilize the economy and pause any improvement in the racial wealth gap.

Posted inStudent Voice

Make your vote count and protect the USPS

An individual’s right to vote in the upcoming national elections may be compromised if the Trump Administration’s push for privatizing the United States Postal Service (USPS) succeeds. Millions of Americans, including Connecticut residents, will send their ballots by mail this year to avoid any unnecessary and potential exposure to the coronavirus, but undermining the USPS may delegitimize crucial votes.