March 26, 2013


NJ: Gov. Announces Privatizing Scheme For Camden City Schools. Governor Chris Christie has announced a state takeover of the Camden school system to force privatization programs. The privatization program had been stymied by residents and their local representatives who did not want to lose their public school system. Now privatization advocates have been able to go around local authorities and have the Governor hand them power. Firedoglake

NJ: Opinion: NJ Lottery privatization: Oversight needed. Even more to the point: If privatizing these lottery functions is such a good deal for the state, why won’t the administration allow the state treasurer to testify about the plan before the Legislature? Press of Atlantic City           

VA: Va Port Authority to vote on whether to privatize port operations. The authority’s board of commissioners is scheduled to vote on the issue Tuesday.The authority received an unsolicited bid from APM Terminals last spring to privatize most of its port operations, taking over the job that has been done by Virginia International Terminals Inc. for the past 30 years. A group headed by JP Morgan Chase & Co. is also a contender in the process seeking a long-term lease of port facilities. The companies say their proposals are worth billions of dollars. Washington Post

VA: Editorial: Road repairs show lack of oversight. The most visible push for privatization in the commonwealth can be seen on our roads, where maintenance and construction have usually gone to the lowest bidder. But privatization pushes have begun dominating the balance sheets of government at every level, from federal security in Baghdad to School Board offices in Suffolk. Recent episodes on the highways of Hampton Roads show that privatization doesn’t necessarily save money; in fact, it can be much more expensive. The Virginian-Pilot

FL: Lawmakers grapple with future of special needs students. A provision that would allow parents to contract with private therapists during school hours is also drawing ire; some observers see it as an attempt to further the school-privatization agenda. “This usurps the power of the schools at the most basic level,” said Kathleen Oropeza, of the Orlando-based parent group, Fund Education Now. “Can you imagine a class of 15 [special-education] kids with 15 hired consultants in the classroom?” Miami Herald

SC: SC state worker numbers continue to dwindle. State lawmakers have cut the state’s work force by 15 percent over the past 13 years, a result of budget cuts and state agencies relying more on private companies to provide public services. The State

IL: Chicago man starts petition drive against new Ventra fare-payment card. Chicagoan Jacquie Brave compared the Ventra deal, which effectively turns over CTA fare-collection duties to private-sector companies, to the unpopular parking-meter privatization that former Mayor Richard M. Daley pushed through the City Council. “This is deja vu all over again,” Brave said in an email to Getting Around, adding, “The Ventra deal smells just as rotten.” Orlando Sentinel