December 27, 2013


UPS’ Late Christmas Deliveries Show Private Isn’t Always Better. My mail arrives every day it’s supposed to – on time, and delivered by a cheerful and dedicated public servant, a mail carrier who managed to get mail to my building during Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy and all kinds of bad weather. It’s a shame UPS didn’t get packages to people on time. Next year, two changes could fix the problem: the private company could hire enough staff to handle and deliver packages. Or consumers could just use the reliable U.S. Postal Service.  U.S. News & World Report (blog)

OR: Campaign to privatize liquor in Oregon drops $30000 on consultants. Oregonians for Competition, a political action committee with close ties to the Northwest Grocery Association, reported cutting $15,000 checks to Winner & Mandabach Campaigns and Silver Bullet LLC last week. The Grocery Association, which also worked on the successful $22 million campaign in 2011 to privatize liquor sales in Washington, filed initiative petitions two weeks ago that would allow stores over 10,000 square feet to stock liquor, breaking a state-run monopoly on selling distilled spirits.

IL: Amid mass school closings, a slow death for some Chicago schools. Opponents of the closings say officials with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the school board have essentially sabotaged neighborhood schools by starving them of resources, claiming the mayor’s appointed school board has served as enforcers for the mayor’s pro-business agenda to privatize public education. As the district has been active in closing and defunding public schools, a flurry of new charter schools has sprung up across the city. Just last week, CPS proposed the addition of 21 new charter schools.  MSNBC

WA: Thousands enroll in Washington online college. Bill Lyne, president of United Faculty of Washington State, said that by advancing WGU, lawmakers are creating the “illusion” the state is producing more degrees even though they have slashed public funding for higher education. “They are presenting it as a legitimate alternative to real college, as a way I think to further privatize higher education,” Lyne told the newspaper.  The Seattle Times

PA: It may be back to square one for Pa. Lottery privatization bidding. The Corbett administration is considering starting over on the bidding process in its efforts to privatize portions of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

NY: Bill De Blasio Charter School Plan Takes Aim At Bloomberg Education Policy. Operators of New York City’s publicly financed, privately run charter schools are bracing for changes promised by Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio — including the possibility of having to pay rent — that they worry could reverse 12 years of growth enjoyed under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Huffington Post

HI: With 2 school leaders accused of crimes, charter schools face more oversight, Criminal cases against several charter school leaders prompted oversight improvements for Hawaii’s 33 charter schools, the executive director of the state’s charter school commission said…The state Ethics Commission charged that the sister of the charter school’s principal – Kurumi Kaapana-Aki, who’s the vice principal — was missing from school for 144 days over six years because she was off-island working her second full-time job, as a flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaii News Now

KY: Privatization Debate Could Resurface in 2014 General Assembly. Kentucky lawmakers are being asked to consider a new proposal for privatizing certain services or projects.  It is not new to Kentucky state government.  Privatization was used in a significant way to house inmates across the Commonwealth for decades. The state cut its tie to privately run prisons earlier this year.  WEKU