April 11, 2013


AL: President Obama’s proposed budget could privatize TVA. TVA provides power to more than 480,000 homes in North Alabama. A Tennessee lawmaker says if it’s privatized customers could see their electric bills rise. President Obama’s latest budget proposal includes a review into the Tennessee Valley Authority. WAAY

MA: No noon meal for kids in debt at middle school. Students at an Attleboro, Massachusetts, middle school went hungry this week, if they had a negative balance on their pre-paid lunch cards. Five cents of debt was enough for cafeteria employees at the Coehlo Middle School to instruct kids at least one day this week to dump out the food they would have normally eaten. About 25 children left the lunchroom with empty stomachs, said Whitson’s Culinary Group in a statement. The company runs the school’s cafeteria. Principal Andrew Boles apologized and blamed the culinary company.  WJAR

FL: The dark side of Parent Trigger. The crusade to privatize public education continues gaining ground in the Florida Legislature, where the controversial bill to have a traditional neighborhood school transformed into a charter school, among other options, sails at full speed under the premise of empowering parents to turn around a school that’s failing their children. Many legislators — some with strong economic ties to the charter school industry — promise the moon when describing the bill known as the Parent Trigger Act. Nonetheless, they present little evidence of its success. Because the fact is that there is none. Miami Herald

IN: Stand With Indiana University Strikers. On April 11th and 12th, while the Indiana University Board of Trustees holds its annual meeting, students and staff throughout the statewide system will walk out of class and off the job to protest critical issues plaguing higher education across the country—from sky-rocketing tuition costs to privatization schemes to barriers facing undocumented students. The Nation

NJ: Newark Students Walk Out To Protest Privatization Plans And Budget Cuts. Though Governor Chris Christie refers to students protesting his privatization plans as drug mules, the students of Newark decided yesterday to stand up for their right to an education and walked out of class to protest the attack on their public school system. Firedoglake

CO: Privatization of U.S. 36 maintenance, operations launches highway into new era. Starting later this year and lasting until 2063, U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder will be maintained and operated by a private consortium known as Plenary Roads Denver…. But public-private partnerships, or P3s, do not sit comfortably with everyone…. Phineas Baxandall, a senior analyst for tax and budget policy with PIRG and author of “Private Roads, Public Costs,” said his analysis of P3 road projects in Indiana and Chicago found that private investors would recoup their investments in less than 20 years even though the P3 deals had terms of 75 and 99 years, respectively. “The state of Colorado might think it’s wiser than the Wall Street financiers on this, but it’s the Wall Street financiers’ job not to lose on these kinds of bets,” Baxandall said. “It’s very hard to know what the traffic patterns will be in the future. CDOT should make sure that any contract it signs should give it leverage to adjust the terms according to changing circumstances.”  Daily Camera

NC: Governor McCrory’s stated reasons for privatizing NC’s award-winning Medicaid program are simply false. In announcing his plan to privatize North Carolina’s award-winning Medicaid program, Community Care of NC, Governor Pat McCrory laid out five key reasons that in his view privatization is necessary.  The only problem?  None of them hold up under the even the most cursory scrutiny.  The Progressive Pulse

Failed Privatizations — the Thatcher Legacy. What concerned voters were the results of privatization that Mrs. Thatcher had not warned them about. Prices did not decline proportionally to cost cuts and productivity gains. Many services were cut back, especially on the least utilized transport routes. The largest privatized bus company was charged with cut-throat monopoly practices. The water system broke down, while consumer charges leapt. Electricity prices were shifted against residential consumers in favor of large industrial users. Economic inequality widened as the industrial labor force shrunk by two million from 1979 to 1997, while wages stagnated in the face of soaring profits for the privatized companies. The tax cuts financed by their selloff turned out to benefit mainly the rich.  OpEdNews.com