April 10, 2014


IL: Charter-School Fight Flares Up in Illinois.  The Illinois Legislature is considering 11 bills that would, among other things, limit where charter schools can be located, ban them from marketing themselves to students, and abolish a commission that has the power to overrule local school boards and grant charter licenses. The skirmish follows recent charter flare-ups in Massachusetts, Tennessee and New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got into a standoff over the schools.  Wall Street Journal

NY: Charter School Refugees –Op ed. LAST week, the New York State Legislature struck a deal ensuring that charter schools in New York City would have access to space, either in already crowded public school buildings or in rented spaces largely paid for by the city. Over the next few years, charters are expected to serve an increasing proportion of city students — perhaps as much as 10 percent. Which brings up the question: Is there a point at which fostering charter schools undermines traditional public schools and the children they serve? The experience of Harlem, where nearly a quarter of students are enrolled in charter schools, suggests that the answer is yes. High-quality charters can be very effective at improving test scores and graduation rates. However, they often serve fewer poorer students and children with special needs.  New York Times

LA: La. Senate backs Jindal’s plan to close LSU hospital in Pineville, part of privatization deal. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to shutter the LSU public hospital in Pineville and shift its services to two private hospitals in central Louisiana received support Tuesday from the state Senate. Jindal wants to close the university-run Huey P. Long Medical Center and move its services to CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Rapides Regional Medical Center. It would be the Republican governor’s ninth and final privatization deal for the LSU public hospital system.  AFSCME Privatization Update

LA: City Planning Commission nixes privatization of Newcomb Boulevard. Newcomb Boulevard cannot become a privately owned street, the City Planning Commission decided Tuesday (April 8). The 7-1 decision derailed a group of residents hoping to buy that four-block stretch of Uptown from the city and keep in place a large fence that has prevented traffic from traveling through it for the last eight years.  The Times-Picayune

Postal Workers Union to Protest ‘Privatization of U.S. Postal Service’ this Week. According to the American Postal Workers Union, Staples has a deal to operate postal counters at more than 80 of its office-supply stores. They also say the U.S. Postmaster General would like to expand this plan to a total of 1,500 stores. Last month, Staples announced it will close 225 North American stores in 2015 amid declining sales. Union President Mark Simondstein said in a statement, “This proves, more than ever that it’s a bad idea to turn public services over to a private company that can close stores at will, with no public input and no public comment. Patch.com