October 1, 2014

IL: Public Interest Group Urges Against ‘Wasteful Spending’ On Illiana Expressway
An Illinois public interest organization is raising concerns about the proposed Illiana Expressway, saying the privatized toll road that would serve mainly as a trucking corridor “may charge tolls too high to attract trucks, and will likely require hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.” The Illiana Expressway, a public-private partnership endeavor, is cited as one of 11 highway “boondoggles” across the country a new report by the Illinois PIRG Education Fund, which is calling on “decision makers to reprioritize scarce transportation dollars to other projects.” Progress Illinois

NJ: Turnpike, Parkway toll privatization put off again
he deadline for proposals to privatize New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway cash toll collections has been pushed off for a fifth time, this time until November. The new due date is Nov. 12 for contractors to submit proposals to run the E-ZPass system and to tentatively replace authority toll collectors with private collectors April 25. The latest extension comes after a tentative settlement with two unions representing toll plaza supervisors and interchange managers that contained salary concessions. The Star-Ledger

LA: LSU to consider changes to hospital privatization agreements
The LSU Board of Supervisors will consider changes to hospital privatization agreements aimed at keeping federal Medicaid money flowing to the private partners… The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid rejected the state’s reimbursement plan in the spring, threatening deals that had already turned over management of the hospitals to private operators. . . The hospital privatization plan has been a controversial issue in Louisiana. Critics argued Gov. Bobby Jindal implemented the privatization too quickly because he did so without federal approval.If the plans are not approved by the federal government, the contracts might be ineffective because there won’t be enough money to support them, and the state would have to repay what has already been spent.The deals will cost an estimated $1 billion in the current budget year, most of which is federal money. The Times-Picayune

Professor: Why I tell students to become teachers — even though the profession is under assault
. . . . Here is the brutal truth: There is no occupation in this country where you can avoid the brutal management practices current invading teachers! There is no “dream job” I can tell my students about, here or in any other country, where you will find security, loyalty, autonomy, and caring respectful management. Work conditions in teaching, as bad as they are, may actually be better than they are in some other jobs. But there is an additional reason that I would urge my students to become teachers: I refuse to give up the profession to the privatizers and to those people who are destroying childhood and undermining what should be one of the best jobs in the society.  Washington Post

Harvard Students Ask University to Cut Ties with Teach for America
A dozen Harvard University students, members of the Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM), assembled outside a university building on Friday, September 26th, calling on President Drew G. Faust to cut ties with Teach for America unless the AmeriCorps program makes major changes to its organization. The group’s demonstration comes as part of a larger movement initiated by United Students Against Sweatshops, which holds that holds that Teach For America is working to privatize education through its relationships with big-name corporations that are threatening the sanctity of public education. The group had a TFA Truth Tour during March and April earlier this year, wherein protests were scheduled and executed on college campuses, including Harvard University. The Nonprofit Quarterly