Cover Story

Addicted to Fines

BY Mike Maciag

Small towns in much of the country are dangerously dependent on punitive fines and fees.



Dress Coded

Do schools’ dress codes unfairly target girls of color? BY

Course Correction

Once-popular public golf courses have become a strain on many cities’ budgets. Are municipal greens still up to par? BY

Leaning on the Land

More and more communities are considering reviving an old tax idea that’s been tried in only a few places. BY
Politics & Elections

State Labs

Congress can learn a lot from state legislatures. BY



Alaska's Public Universities May Declare 'Academic Bankruptcy'

Lawmakers failed to override the Republican governor's decision to cut 40 percent of the university system's state funding. BY
Public Safety & Justice


Half of all the criminal records in Pennsylvania are about to be sealed. BY
Infrastructure & Environment

Dockless in Dallas

At one point, there were 18,000 rental bikes in Dallas. Now, they’re all gone. BY
Infrastructure & Environment

Lights Out

Texas is the latest state to ban all red-light cameras. BY

The Mayoral Balancing Act

Tension between downtowns and neighborhoods isn’t going to go away. BY
Washington Watch

Reality TV Politics

Soundbites and slogans might work in Washington, but closer to home voters expect results. BY
Urban Notebook

Appalachian Hope

Coal isn’t going to bounce back in West Virginia. But tourism and recreation can replace it. BY
Politics & Elections

Mayors Are Harassed and Threatened, But Just How Often?

A new study reveals the downsides of running a city. BY


Smart Management

Testing Period

Pilot programs don’t always fly right. BY
On Leadership

Governing in a Cynical Age

Public servants should work to restore people’s faith in government. BY
Public Money

High on Pot Taxes

Is there a revenue jackpot for states that legalize marijuana? BY
Transportation & Infrastructure

The Two-Wheel Safety Illusion

More women are cycling, and more are dying. It reflects an urban failure. BY

Shamed in the Lunch Line

Cold PB&Js for students who can’t pay? Some states are saying no. BY
Infrastructure & Environment

Parks for All

"Park equity" gets a new focus as cities tackle inequality in all facets of public life. BY


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