TABLE of CONTENTS March 2011

Cover Story

State Governments: The Latest Venture Capitalists

BY Russell Nichols

With venture capital firms scaling back, state governments are stepping in to fund early-state, high-risk startups.

Features

Are CIO-Led Organizations Endangered?

State and local governments are questioning the need for large, centralized, costly IT departments. BY Tod Newcombe

The Spreading Cloud

With governments facing fiscal pressures, IT services and applications delivered through computer servers may save on costs. BY Tod Newcombe

Tablets: Government's Newest Tool

From mayors to police departments to high schools, tablet computers are changing the way government works. BY Elizabeth Daigneau

Peer Assistance Review Helps Teachers in Toledo

When it comes to easing inept teachers out of the classroom, Toledo has been charting the way. BY Jonathan Walters

Investing in Greener Fleets During Tough Times

Eco-friendly fleets aren't all stalled, but they've shifted to a lower gear. BY Ryan Holeywell

Departments

Dispatch

Why Hasn't Voting by Mail Spread?

Voting by mail is popular in the states that allow it. But some states are hesitant to make such a switch. BY Paul W. Taylor

Politics + Policy

Health & Human Services

The Troubled State of Mental Health Funding

States have cut mental health funding by more than $2 billion. Things may get worse this year. BY Alan Greenblatt
Politics

The Immigration Enforcement Divide

Legislators are trying to pass laws requiring immigration checks, but they're running into resistance from the people who would enforce them. BY Alan Greenblatt
Education

School Vouchers Are In ... Again

Different circumstances and a favorable political climate make school vouchers more attractive than before. BY Alan Greenblatt
Health & Human Services

Time to Ban BPA?

While the feds struggle with their own assessment of the chemical, several states enact bans. BY Andy Kim
Potomac Chronicle

Public Servants as Public Enemy #1

At all levels, denigration of public service is a legacy of the recession. BY Peter Harkness
Technology

Emergency Workers Push for More Bandwidth

Public safety workers and the Federal Communications Commission have feuded over the future of a section of broadcast spectrum known as "D Block." BY Ryan Holeywell
Health & Human Services

Libraries Now Offering Books and Workouts

Public libraries are now the place to stretch your mind and body. BY Jessica Mulholland
Education

States Pushing Green Education in the Classroom

States are in the stages of developing "environmental literacy plans," which could help student engagement and achievement. BY Ryan Holeywell
Economic Engines

The Economic Development President

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama was using the language of economic investment -- language mayors and governors use all the time. BY William Fulton
Urban Notebook

Motorists and Light Rail Struggle to Share the Road

City motorists need to remember that streets aren't just for cars anymore. BY Tod Newcombe

Problem Solver

Finance

Library Shutdown in Camden, N.J.

Times are tough for libraries. To keep the doors open, one city is turning its operations over to the county. BY Heather Kerrigan
Smart Management

The Legislative Funding Flaw

When state legislatures pass new programs but don't fund them, they may do more harm than good. BY Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene
Tech Talk

Laptops at the Push of a Button

Can self-service laptop dispensers help libraries offer more public computers? BY Steve Towns
Public Money

Is Federal Help Truly a Myth?

History says cities and states can look to the feds for a fiscal rescue plan. BY John E. Petersen
Politics

Oakland, Calif. Elects First Female, Asian-American Mayor

Former City Councilmember Jean Quan hopes to make her office more accessible and transparent. BY Tina Trenkner