November 4, 2014


Number of U.S. Charter Schools Up 7 Percent, Report Shows. The number of charter schools surpassed 6,000 at the start of the 2012-13 school year, as these schools – publicly financed, but privately run – steadily increased by 7 percent throughout the United States that year. U.S. News & World Report

IL: Emanuel’s early childhood plan compared to parking meter deal. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to use a pay-for-performance financing method known as “Social Impact Bonds” to give 2,618 children access to early childhood education cleared a key legislative hurdle Monday despite comparisons to the widely-despised parking meter deal. The Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU Healthcare Illinois and their City Council allies condemned the arrangement because it will allow Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust and the Pritzker Family Foundation to more than double their $17 million investment over 18 years. . . . “This is basically privatizing Head Start — giving these banking companies a very high rate of return — higher than even what we saw in the Infrastructure Trust,” said Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), one of a handful of aldermen who voted no. Chicago Sun-Times

WI: Megadonations Follow Randa Ruling in Wisconsin. . . Judge Randa, a member of the Milwaukee Federalist Society’s board of advisors and a regular attendee at Koch- and Bradley-funded judicial junkets, has single-handedly opened Wisconsin elections to out-of-state billionaires like no judge before him. Thanks to a pair of his recent decisions, millions of dollars in disclosed six-and seven-figure checks have flowed into campaign accounts of the gubernatorial and Attorney General candidates in recent weeks, and an unknown amount of secretly-funded expenditures have been coordinated with candidates. . . Michigan billionaires Richard and Helen Devos also gave $200,000, together. The Devos’ are among the top funders of school privatization initiatives nationwide, and their American Federation for Children group spends millions electing pro-privatization candidates. The American Federation for Children is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council. PR Watch

KS: Many Disabled Kansans Struggle With KanCare. A new study by the University of Kansas finds many Kansans with disabilities are having difficulty getting services through KanCare, the privatized Medicaid managed care program created by the Brownback Administration. As Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson reports, the study questions whether the financial savings from privatization are worth the human costs. KMUW