August 24, 2012



IL: Chicago to privatize some homeless transport services. Chicago will privatize overnight transport services for the homeless and use the $1.7 million savings to reduce “youth homelessness”.  Now, the city is getting out of the “human services mobile outreach” business that includes overnight transport, well-being checks and delivery of food boxes. The job will be done by Catholic Charities, which has promised to do it cheaper.  Chicago Sun Times

CA: Berkeley private donations make it happen…Berkeley’s reliance on private funding to maintain its excellence raises the question of how public the campus really is, and echoes the chants of student protesters who point to “privatization” as the consequence of California’s disinvestment in public education. The state contributed slightly more than half of the campus budget back when Ronald Reagan was president in 1982, university officials said. When Birgeneau arrived in 2004, the state paid 28 percent, or $500 million. Today it’s $250 million, and 11 percent of the budget.  San Francisco Chronicle

“Failing Schools” Narrative a Tactic to Privatize Public Education and Destroy Unions…The philosophy underpinning both sides on education comes from a similar place – the idea that America is slipping behind the rest of the world on education, and that drastic measures must be taken to reverse that trend. Usually these drastic measures fall directly on the heads of teachers and more specifically their unions. There’s one problem with this scenario – the premise is wrong. An excellent article at Mother Jones takes issue with the idea that American education is all about “failing schools” and lower standards and backsliding on teaching our young people. In fact, Kristina Rizga takes a look at one so-called failing school and finds that, actually, it’s doing pretty well.  Democratic Underground

For-Profit College Group Fights To Keep Students In Dark On Debt. For-profit college representatives are fighting in federal court for the right to avoid telling students if they are likely to afford their debts after attending school.  In a court filing last week, a key industry trade group pushed back against the Department of Education’s attempts to make for-profit colleges disclose statistics that would indicate whether students are likely to take on huge debts they cannot repay. Preliminary data released by the department earlier this year indicates that many of the for-profit programs would be cast in a negative light by making the disclosures, which would reveal that students are shouldering massive debt burdens and are often unable to repay student loans.  Huffington Post