August 14, 2013


WA: State sells off former liquor distribution center for $23.4 million. Washington state’s privatization of its Prohibition-era liquor distribution business turned another major corner this month.

MI: Detroit Schools Start Door-to-Door Campaign to Win Back Students. As Detroit Public Schools pushes a new back-to-school marketing plan to try to reverse its enrollment and budget decline, the district must try to draw back kids from dozens of districts and nearly every charter school in the tri-county region…. The competition for students has heated up in the past decade with Detroit parents enrolling in suburban districts that offer school choice programs while more charter schools offer more options. Detroit Free Press

OH: Lawmakers argue true success of Kasich’s JobsOhio. Gov. John Kasich’s privatized development agency, JobsOhio, is under more scrutiny amidst new legislation….Ohio Democrats cite out-of-state jobs, tax payer contributions to the site despite privatization and a lack of transparency for the reason behind the move to “invoke rule 29” (The Dayton Daily News first reported that JobsOhio used $1.35 million in taxpayer money for an ad campaign). The Ohio News Network reported that Rep. John Carney asked Republican Ohio House Speaker William G. Batchelder to “invoke rule 29.” This would create a bipartisan committee to investigate JobsOhio.  Putnam County Sentinel

IL: Just months after closing 50 schools, Chicago issues RFP for more charter schools. Without fanfare, the district posted an official “request for proposals” to its website Monday that invites charter schools to apply to open shop in what the school district has identified as priority neighborhoods—large swaths of the Southwest and Northwest sides. Those heavily Latino areas have struggled with overcrowded schools. The district wants what it’s calling “next generation” charter schools, which could combine online and traditional teaching. It also wants proposals for arts integration charter schools and dual language charters.  WBEZ

IL: EDITORIAL: Slow down airport privatization effort. The rush to privatization for Gary/Chicago International Airport has some potential bidders wondering why the rush. It’s a good question, especially with so much up in the air.

IA: Branstad says privatizing Iowa Juvenile Home management should be considered. Gov. Terry Branstad says privately run agencies appear to “do a better job” than the state when it comes to caring for troubled children.

NJ: Hamilton residents wary of township’s move to privatize Bromley Neighborhood. The township’s move to privatize operations of the Bromley Neighborhood Service Center is raising questions from the local civic association and others about whether an outside group will be responsive to the community’s needs.  The Times of Trenton

CA: From Save the Post Office. The USPS plans to sell Berkeley’s historic main post office. On Saturday, August 10th, people met to rally and march in protest and to support those who have been camping out at the post office since July 27th. This is not a local issue but one arm of the struggle against privatization and the global fight for economic justice.  Berkeley Daily Planet

Are Public Schools Headed for a Wall Street-style Crash? In New York, a new rating system resulted in 70 percent of city students failing the new tests, earning the kind of tabloid headlines usually reserved for a politician’s sex scandal or a natural disaster. “Rotten to the score,” blared the New York Daily News. Fans of corporate education reform hail this as the tough love needed to force even tougher changes to the public school system despite the fact that privately owned charter schools fared just as badly. Huffington Post