February 4, 2014


Republicans Propose New Privatization Scheme That Would Destroy Public Schools. There has been a concerted effort to transform America’s public education system to a taxpayer-funded private religious school scam, and last week many Americans missed a Republican proposal to destroy the public school system because they were awaiting President Obama’s State of the Union address.  However, if they listened carefully to two of the Republican responses, they would have noticed the drumbeat to school privatization Republicans claimed is “all about the children.” PoliticusUSA

The Curse of Privatization. “Obamacare,” the felicitous handle to disguise corporate pre-emption of the ideological-political-structural ground which deals with what should be viewed as a justifiable, humane entitlement affecting all people: health insurance as a basic, non-negotiable right integral to the constitutional foundation of the State. I capitalize “State,” not as an appeal to isms at either pole of the spectrum, but to signify “All-of-us,” the nation as its people, not as, and in contrast to the supposed legitimacy of, its ruling class. By firmly endowing health care, i.e., institutionalizing it, with privatization as the antecedent condition, we place our lives at the mercy of the centers of profit and the structure reinforcing them.  CounterPunch

The Public School Advantage’: the numbers add up: book review. In “The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools,” Christopher and Sarah Lubienski, both of whom are professors of education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, add to an emerging scholarly consensus that the free market model isn’t the panacea promised by its advocates. Their data-driven argument is a valuable contribution to a vitally important topic. The Oregonian

TX: Payday lender to collect El Paso tolls. At a time when payday lenders are under scrutiny in El Paso and Texas, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority which is charged with implementing the area’s first toll road is partnering with an organization that uses a payday lender to help collect tolls. As of right now, ACE Cash Express — a payday lender — is the only place in El Paso a person can walk into to buy a toll tag or pay a toll to use the toll lanes on the César Chávez Border Highway. People can also pay the toll by phone, online or mail. El Paso Times

GA: Bill filed to privatize Ga. child welfare services. The bill calls for the Division of Family and Children Services to submit a plan by Jan. 1, with it being phased in over two years beginning in July 2015. The bill requires the division to monitor program operations, including performance standards. The division has been under scrutiny recently for the handling of cases involving two children who later died. WRCB-TV

AZ: New charter-school push in Phoenix core. A new group is investing $2.5 million toward an ambitious goal: Its leaders want to open 25 new A-rated charter schools in Phoenix’s urban core by 2020. The New Schools for Phoenix group is a spinoff of the Arizona Charter Schools Association, a non-profit organization that has long helped new charters open across the state through various programs. Though they share many of the same staff members, New Schools for Phoenix operates as a separate non-profit. Unlike the association’s previous efforts in helping open charter schools, New Schools for Phoenix is zeroing in on Phoenix’s urban core — specifically, the 220 square miles of the Phoenix Union High School District.  Arizona Republic

NY: De Blasio says he won’t allow co-locations for charter schools. Just days after Mayor de Blasio’s Department of Education proposed slashing $210 million from a charter-school construction fund, he said he also won’t allow charters to share space in public-school buildings going forward. New York Post

ME: Online charter school backers promise local control, quality. State education officials pressed board members of a proposed virtual charter school Monday on details of their 500-plus-page application, particularly how they will attract and retain dual-certified teachers on a $35,000 salary and retain local control with a large national company providing most education services.  Press Herald