May 6, 2015


4 Essential Questions About Air Traffic Control Privatization. Perhaps the largest and most complicated question before Congress is whether to privatize air traffic control operations, system maintenance, and procurement responsibilities for the air traffic control modernization program known as NextGen. . . . 1. If the current system of air traffic control governance works well, why privatize it? 2. Who would pay? 3. How would privatization affect NextGen implementation? 4. How would privatization affect aviation policy? Center For American Progress

Higher Ed Lobby Quietly Joins For-Profit Schools to Roll Back Tighter Rules. Traditional colleges and universities have become unlikely allies of the beleaguered for-profit industry as each group tries to fend off the government’s push for more accountability. ProPublica

Our Ayn Randian Dystopia: The Five-Step Process to Privatize Everything. At the heart of privatization is a disdain for government and a distrust of society, and a mindless individualism that leaves little room for cooperation. Adherents of privatization demand ‘freedom’ unless they need the government to intervene on their behalf. These privatizers have a system: 1. Convince Yourself that “I Did It On My Own”. 2. Insist that the Removal of Government Will Benefit All People. 3. Ensure that Government Isn’t Removed Until You Get Rich. 4. Defund Government Until Privatization Seems Like the Only Option. 5. Remain Ignorant of Any Troublesome Facts.   Alternet

IN: Governor grants Cline bridge company access to BMV data. The private company set to rebuild the Cline Avenue Bridge in East Chicago and charge drivers tolls for crossing will get assistance from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles in collecting its revenue. Republican Gov. Mike Pence has signed into law House Enrolled Act 1397, providing United Bridge Partners free access to BMV registration records and requiring the agency to suspend the license plates of motorists who fail to pay their bridge tolls. . . . East Chicago and INDOT later struck a deal with United Bridge Partners to build a new, privately owned and operated bridge in place of the condemned span. The city is due to receive 10 cents from every toll.

IA: Substitute teachers could be outsourced in Des Moines. The Des Moines school board could decide as soon as Tuesday whether to outsource the district’s substitute teachers and teacher associates to a temp agency, a plan that some fear would deteriorate the quality of subs in schools. . . .Andrew Rasmussen, president of the Des Moines Education Association, said the switch could decrease the number of licensed substitutes who have completed a teacher preparation program, which also is required of full-time teachers, and instead increase the number of substitutes with less training. The union does not represent substitutes. “We have, as a union, always been against outsourcing the work of public employees to private corporations,” Rasmussen said. In addition, he questioned a move that he believes means less district control on hiring and training decisions.

OH: Online charter school accused of padding rolls for school funding. State lawmakers said Monday they have referred allegations to authorities that an online charter school failed to dis-enroll hundreds of chronically truant students in order to pad its rolls. Columbus Dispatch

TX: Texas: Company Pays Outsiders To Campaign For Cameras. Early voters are already heading to the polls to decide the future of red light cameras in Arlington, Texas. A charter amendment on the May 9 ballot would ban photo enforcement, and city officials and their vendors are not happy about it. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) has spared no expense to ensure the measure fails, even busing in paid outsiders to influence voters on the way to the polling stations. Through its various front groups, ATS hired the firm Extreme Marketing and Promotions to organize “Street Teams USA” contractors who are paid $18 an hour to create the appearance of local support for keeping the cameras. A little over half a dozen individuals, none of whom live in Arlington, signed up to hold pro-camera signs and talk to voters headed to polling stations.

NC: Toll contract could hinder new free lanes on Interstate 77. Some area officials were surprised that under the contract with I-77 Mobility Partners, the developer would likely collect damages if the state added two new general-purpose lanes from Exit 28 to Exit 36 at the lake. Charlotte Observer