October 31, 2013


Report: Uneven Training for Contract Guards for Federal Buildings. Contract guards who protect federal buildings have received uneven and inconsistent training on responding to shootings like the one last month at the Washington Navy Yard, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday. NBC Washington

Imprisoned Profits. It may be hard to see who the benefactor of this penal epidemic is, but one has certainly emerged: private prisons. In a cruel, cyclical pattern, private prisons both benefit from and contribute to higher incarceration rates. By operating with profit motivations, they create an exploitative system that rewards unreasonable imprisonment levels, unjustly depriving individuals of their freedom and draining resources from society.  Harvard Crimson

NY: City’s Charter Schools Fear Having de Blasio for a Landlord. Charter schools in New York City have flourished over the past decade, attracting donations from Wall Street, praise from leaders in business and government, and free real estate from the city. But with a changing of the guard imminent in City Hall, many charter school leaders are concerned that the support they have enjoyed during the three terms of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg may be in peril. The New York Times

CA: Janet Napolitano outlines grand vision for UC. Responding to questions, she also said she opposes privatizing the university, has a wait-and-see attitude toward online education. San Francisco Chronicle



October 30, 2013


WI: Most with vouchers didn’t come from public schools. Nearly 80 percent of students who received a taxpayer-subsidized voucher to attend private school this year did not go to a Wisconsin public school last year, data released Tuesday showed. The voucher program is touted by its supporters as a way to help students escape poorly performing public schools. Opponents, primarily Democrats and public school advocates, say the program is unaccountable to taxpayers and takes resources away from others who need it… “These numbers expose the expansion of the unaccountable private school voucher program for the scam that it is,” said Scot Ross, director of the liberal anti-voucher group One Wisconsin Now. “It’s not about helping kids; it’s a far-right-driven effort to privatize schools and satisfy the wealthy campaign contributors and well-connected special interests behind it.” San Francisco Chronicle

PA: Gov. Tom Corbett once again delays decision on Pa. Lottery privatization pursuit. Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration will continue its examination into the privatization of the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery for two more months. The administration announced Tuesday that United Kingdom-based Camelot Global Services has agreed for an 11th time to extend its bid’s expiration date, which was set to expire today. It now is good through Dec. 31. Patriot-News

PA: Auditor General calls on Corbett to stop spending on lottery privatization consultants. In a news release issued Tuesday, DePasquale said he directed his staff to immediately begin to review and scrutinize this diversion of use of Lottery Fund dollars from funding senior programs to paying for consultants. “Funds from the Pennsylvania Lottery are supposed to help older Pennsylvanians with prescriptions, transportation, home-delivered meals and property tax and rent rebates, not to fatten the coffers of law firms and private consultants over a Lottery privatization contract that may never see the light of day,” DePasquale said. Penn Live

OR: Seven arrested in Portland postal privatization protest. Seven people were arrested during a protest at a downtown Portland postal facility Tuesday after a security guard clashed with demonstrators. The protest was being held in opposition to the outsourcing of postal jobs…..Demonstrators were protesting the recent loss of postal jobs to private corporations in Portland and Salem…. “We’ve written letters, we’ve called and were up there before when they promised they would meet with us,” Daniel said. “Then they said no, they would not meet with us.”  OregonLive.com

LA: Feds looking at privatization funding. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is asking questions about the financial arrangements needed to make privatization of LSU hospitals. The Advocate

CA: New City Ambulance Deal Wages Public vs. Private. San Diego firefighters now want the contract for emergency medical transport services. Since 1997, a private firm named Rural/Metro has been the city’s ambulance provider. San Diego’s Fire-Rescue Department chief now wants an in-house operation….” “There’s big profit in it, and that’s why you’re seeing the lobbyists and these timely, so-called reports that these taxpayer groups are putting out. When, in fact, their whole board is comprised of people that have an interest in it because they’re all wanting to privatize,” he said. “We’re not in it for a profit. Our shareholders are the citizens. We want to provide the highest services.” NBC 7 San Diego

CA: San Diego hires efficiency expert with controversial past. Stephen Goldsmith…is known as an expert in privatizing city governments…. Goldsmith served two terms as Mayor of Indianapolis, America’s 12 largest city, where he’s said to have saved local government hundreds of millions of dollars in spending by cutting government services and selling those out to the private sector. His measures are also reported to have resulted in hundreds of government worker layoffs. More recently, Goldsmith served as Deputy Mayor of New York City, brought in by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help him run the city more efficiently. That didn’t go as planned, he resigned 14 months into the job after being arrested for domestic violence, but was reportedly never criminally charged.  10News

Fighting Fires is Big Business for Private Companies…As the private firefighting industry has grown, so too has its influence on politicians and government. Despite, the rapid growth of the industry, there has been little public debate about the role of these companies until now. “Why is fire management on public lands being turned over to profit-seeking corporations?” asks Timothy Ingalsbee, Executive Director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology. “They don’t share the same interests as folks with a vision of long-term stewardship.” The main concern people like Ingalsbee share is that private companies are putting profit over the environment.  Earth Island Journal

Privatization Everywhere: Public Universities Want to Go Private. The reason why this is so is not too hard to figure out: as states have cut (and cut) funding for their public universities, public higher education inches toward the private university model: higher tuition costs, and more financial aid for those students the universities want to attract. And who are those students? The ones that will boost a school’s rankings and prestige. This of course means that more and more students from lower-income families will (are) being priced out of higher education. ProPublica has shown that, in a gross inversion, wealthier kids are sucking up the aid from colleges and universities, leaving the most financially needy in a bind. Houston Press (blog)



October 29, 2013


Waste Management Reaps Treasure from Your Trash and Taxes. Over the past three decades, an increasing number of Americans have had their household waste collected by private companies like WM, even though waste management services have traditionally been provided by municipalities and public workers, as water and children’s education have been. In the 1980s, these services began to be “outsourced” to for-profit firms, which now provide at least 50 percent of solid waste management services in the United States. WM was founded in 1987 and has been a driving force in the trend toward privatization.  PR Watch

Why Private Contractors Are Lousy at Public Services. The latest U.S. employment data, released last week, showed that the federal government employs 2.7 million people. That’s the smallest number since 1966. One reason for that decline is the rise in outsourcing—a trend also in the news because of the rolling train wreck that is healthcare.gov, built by contractors overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services. A look at outsourcing’s track record around the world backs what the website’s snafus suggest: Turning over the delivery of government services to private contractors can cause as many problems as when governments provide those services themselves. Businessweek

The truth is, public schools work well for most students – opinion. Here is something you don’t hear often about the nation’s public schools: They are not failing. In fact, schools today are doing a better job educating the nation’s youth than they did decades ago. Pocono Record

FL: Ben Gamla charter schools take in millions in public funds as founder lives half a world away. Peter Deutsch, the driving force behind South Florida’s controversial Ben Gamla charter schools, is a six-term former Democratic congressman with a unique status: He lives more than 6,000 miles away in Israel as an expatriate. Even so, Deutsch’s Ben Gamla schools have racked up hefty public funding — more than $10 million for nearly 1,800 students last school year alone. Miami Herald

FL: Editorial: Keeping watch on economic development. Gov. Rick Scott and Florida lawmakers who are quick to shovel money to economic development should review a study that found the public-private partnerships states often use to pursue new business frequently result in waste, conflicts, extravagant salaries and lack of oversight. Tampa Bay Tribune

IN: Gary airport privatization flying forward. The effort to privatize Gary/Chicago International Airport is back on a fast track with last week’s announcement the airport is now exclusively negotiating a deal with Aviation Facilities Company Inc., known as AFCO, of Dulles, Va.   nwitimes.com

NC: New report: NC eco-devo privatization a mistake. A new national report says a proposed privatization of economic development in North Carolina may create scandals instead of jobs. Charlotte Business Journal (blog)

WI: Half of virtual charter schools judged in new report cards miss mark. Virtual charter schools are on the rise in Wisconsin, but so far new accountability standards that hold them to the same expectations as regular public schools do not paint a flattering picture.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel



October 28, 2013


NC: Research center critical of privatizing economic development
Gov. Pat McCrory and state economic officials remain strongly committed to their goal of privatizing economic development in North Carolina next year. However, a nonpartisan Washington research center, Good Jobs First, offered a warning last week to North Carolina about the strategy’s viability and effectiveness through stark criticism of public-private efforts in eight states.  Winston-Salem Journal

NV: Public policy maker or private lobbyist? 10 state officials play dual roles
Disclosure reports filed with the Nevada Commission on Ethics detail how legislators and members of state boards and commissions often get paid to do business before state agencies, boards and commissions. Their elected or appointed positions likely enable them to build relationships and gain expertise useful in their private enterprise — a fact recognized by lawmakers when they passed the disclosure law in 1991. Las Vegas Sun

ID: Idaho Debates Private Prisons
Corrections policy is at a crossroads in Idaho as government officials decide how to staff the 2,060-bed Idaho Correctional Center now that the country’s largest private prison operator has decided to quit the state.  Wall Street Journal ($)

IN: Pension officials ignore legislative opposition to annuity privatization plan 
State pension officials refused Friday to back off their plan to privatize annuity payments for retired state and local government employees, despite a strong legislative recommendation that they reconsider.  nwitimes.com

FL: Bill Cotterell: Saving money, losing jobs through privatization
…Contrary to Republican rhetoric, Florida government is not a big, bloated bureaucracy. In fact, we have the nation’s smallest personnel system, in terms of employment cost per taxpayer and ratio of state employees to population. So the only way contractors can do something cheaper is by having fewer employees, paying them less, providing fewer employment benefits — or all three. And whether service gets better depends on what you’re satisfied with.  Tallahassee Democrat (blog)

LA: Financial risk of charity hospital ‘privatization’
….Dig deeper into the details and it becomes apparent that the planned “savings” won’t result from lower costs but from getting more money from the federal government through an accounting change. This won’t make the charity hospitals or Louisiana’s Medicaid program, which pays for the hospitals, more efficient. It will just make them more expensive, fueled by additional federal (American taxpayer) money.  Shreveport Times

PA: Lottery privatization pursuit nears another deadline
….Tuesday is the latest deadline for the administration to make a move in deciding its next step with regard to the outsourcing. That is when the bid from United Kingdom-based Camelot Global Services is set to expire….But as the deadline for a decision gets delayed, the consultants’ fees rise. State Treasurer Rob McCord sees that use of tax dollars as a waste. At a news conference in Philadelphia on Monday with the Comcast Building towering in the background, McCord noted that if the $3.4 million to be paid to DLA Piper were a stack of $1 bills, it would be taller than that skyscraper that is the tallest building in Pennsylvania.

Army seeks to expand public-private partnerships
The Army is looking to expand privatization efforts to nearly all commercial-like services, according to Army officials. Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, the Army’s top installations official, told a conference of the Association of the United States Army that the privatization of housing and utilities has been a success and the Army is looking to expand privatization efforts further. “We will partner with anyone who can cut costs,” Ferriter said at a conference of the Association of the United States Army.  Federal Times

CD050: Privatize Water Projects
Now that the government is back up and running and the American public has looked away, the House of Representatives got back to work privatizing our government. H.R. 3080 takes the first steps towards privatization of water projects typically done by the Army Corps of Engineers, using entirely fixable budget issues as the justification.Congressional Dish

October 25, 2013


Private Prison Empire Rises Despite Startling Record Of Juvenile Abuse….The private prison industry has long fueled its growth on the proposition that it is a boon to taxpayers, delivering better outcomes at lower costs than state facilities. But significant evidence undermines that argument: the tendency of young people to return to crime once they get out, for example, and long-term contracts that can leave states obligated to fill prison beds. The harsh conditions confronting youth inside YSI’s facilities, moreover, show the serious problems that can arise when government hands over social services to private contractors and essentially walks away.  Huffington Post

Debate: Are charter schools a legitimate alternative to public education?Are charter schools a legitimate alternative to public schools? Or do they exist to profit off of taxpayers? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue. Newsday

SC: Public opposition to SC private-school choice flares. Suspicion that private-school choice would dismantle public education and revive a segregation-era expansion of private schools fueled criticism Wednesday of a state Senate bill that would expand the state’s first private-school choice program.  The State

IN: Indiana to consider stopping annuity privatization effort. Indiana Public Retirement System, Indianapolis, on Friday will consider a recommendation from the state Legislature’s Pension Management Oversight Commission to halt plans to privatize management of the retirement system’s $5.5 billion annuity savings account, confirmed Jeff Hutson, system spokesman.  Pensions & Investments

LA: State Treasurer Kennedy: Hospital privatization may lead to budget crisis. State Treasurer John Kennedy continued his call for the state to re-examine its plans to turn management of its public hospitals over to private partners during a speaking engagement Thursday in Alexandria. When asked, he reiterated his position that privatization of charity hospitals is being accomplished under misleading, and potentially damaging, conditions…..“The taxpayers of Louisiana were told that turning our charity hospitals over to private hospitals would save money because they will run them better and therefore cheaper. “On that premise, I supported privatization. But that’s not accurate.” Alexandria Town Talk

October 24, 2013


Report: Privatized State Development Agencies Create Scandals Instead of Jobs. Three years ago, four newly elected governors decided to outsource economic development functions to “public-private partnerships” (PPPs). Joining a handful of other states’ PPPs, these experiments in privatization have, by and large, become costly failures characterized by misuse of taxpayer funds, conflicts of interest, excessive executive pay, questionable subsidy awards, exaggerated job-creation claims, lack of transparency, and resistance to oversight. Those are the cautionary conclusions of a study issued today by Good Jobs First, looking at eight states with existing PPPs and another one proposed.  “Creating Scandals Instead of Jobs” is available at www.goodjobsfirst.org. It is a follow-up to a study issued in February 2011. PR Newswire    Cincinnati CityBeat

CA: New College Course Prices Slammed as “Toll Road” for Priviledged Students. Long Beach City College is the first in the state to participate in a pilot program that would charge higher fees for high-demand classes. Despite opposition from some students, the Board of Trustees Tuesday night voted 4-0 to move forward with offering two new winter sessions in November, one of which would offer courses at $225 a unit – compared to $46 a unit, which is what students are used to paying for traditional classes. Some of those students told NBC4 they are now planning a protest of those courses.  NBC Southern California

CA: Non-profit developers scheme to grab Section 8 vouchers and public housing….The non-profit organizations are pushing for rental assistance reform (RAR) legislation that will result in fewer Section 8 housing choice vouchers for the poor, higher rents for public housing residents, and the acceleration of the privatization of conventional public housing projects into privatized mixed-income residential housing developments for higher income renters. Developments that are being promoted by so-called non-profit and for profit affordable housing developers who want to get their hands on public housing properties locally, and all across the nation.  If lawmakers cave in to the pressures of the so-called affordable housing industry, the impact of RAR will result in more Section 8 housing choice vouchers being taken away from low-income renters in Oakland and all across the nation, so that they can be converted into project-based vouchers to fund so-called affordable housing projects for wealthy developers. Bay Area Indymedia

IL: Report: CPS Plan For Charter School Expansion ‘Deeply Flawed’. A group of Chicago parents, students and community members released a new report Tuesday arguing that the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) plan to open new charter schools to help relieve overcrowding is “deeply flawed.” Progress Illinois

TX: Debt Issues Tied to SH 130 Could Impact Toll Projects… While its posted 85 mph speed limit — the highest in the country — drew international headlines, many state and local leaders were more interested in the road’s unique financing: A private consortium designed and built the road and agreed to operate and maintain it for 50 years in exchange for a cut of the toll revenue…..But SH 130 has not been the immediate success story its backers had hoped. Last week, lower-than-expected traffic revenue prompted credit ratings firm Moody’s Investors Service to severely downgrade the SH 130 Concession Company’s debt and warned that a default may not be far off. The project’s stumbles are likely to draw increased scrutiny of how Texas plans to fund future infrastructure projects, though local and state officials are working to distinguish SH 130 from other toll projects in the works.  Texas Tribune

MN: St. Paul council delays vote on requests to privatize public golf courses. Following nearly 1 1/2 hours of sometimes-heated discussion, the St. Paul City Council voted Wednesday to wait two weeks before deciding whether to ask private vendors to submit proposals to manage the Como and Phalen golf courses. The idea, which has drawn strong opinions from golfers and nongolfers alike, will be revisited by the council at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 6. Pioneer Press



October 23, 2013


Army Seeks To Expand Privatization Efforts….The Army is looking at issuing dining cards that could be used at its installations and at local restaurants, Army officials said Tuesday. Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations energy and Environment, said the service is looking at all of its options when it comes to expanding its privatization efforts. She and other Army officials made the announcement at the annual Association of the United States Army convention in Washington. DefenseNews.com

State Pro-Business Organizations Are Publicly Funded, but Privately Controlled…About 10 other states have also given control over lucrative corporate tax incentives to similar organizations, which are often run by the states’ most influential businessmen, generally at the pleasure of the governor. Supporters say these partnerships are more nimble than government bureaucracies and are insulated from the vagaries of electoral politics. But both liberal and conservative watchdog groups say the practice takes a government function already prone to mismanagement and obfuscation and makes the situation worse by giving oversight of business incentives to businesses themselves. “There’s a lot of potential for powerful special interests to abuse the public purse,” says Phineas Baxandall, a senior policy analyst at US PIRG.  Forbes

Are virtual schools just another online racket? It has also emerged as a tool of choice in the bitterly partisan campaign to privatize education. One key player in this campaign has been the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-controlled generator of far-right legislation, including Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground gun law and a 2012 Michigan law that hobbled unions’ ability to collect membership dues. The expansion of virtual schools has been made possible by numerous bills passed by state legislatures across the country and has been fueled partly by ALEC. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC-crafted legislation promoting virtual schools has been adopted in Tennessee and Florida. Salon

Don’t Teach For America….For one, I am far from ready to enter a classroom on my own. Indeed, in my experience Harvard students have increasingly acknowledged that TFA drastically underprepares its recruits for the reality of teaching. But more importantly, TFA is not only sending young, idealistic, and inexperienced college grads into schools in neighborhoods different from where they’re from—it’s also working to destroy the American public education system. As a hopeful future teacher, that is not something I could ever conscionably put my name behind. Harvard Crimson

CO: Suburban Denver School Foundation Charged with Political Electioneering…. The Douglas County Board of Education election has generated emotion, contention, and even fear. In a recent issue of The Examiner, one Douglas County parent, self-described as a political “centrist,” asked to have a letter published anonymously, complaining about the agendas of “Bennett, the Friedman Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and deep funding from several conservative ‘angels’” behind the “partisan ideology to privatize the school system” of the BOE members lauded by Hess and Eden. The Nonprofit Quarterly

October 22, 2013


Privatization Benefits the 1%; Public Services Benefit Everyone.  Private systems are focused on making profits for a few well-positioned people. Public systems, when sufficiently supported by taxes, work for everyone in a generally equitable manner. The following are six specific reasons why privatization simply doesn’t work. Truthout

Here’s why privatizing food inspection might not be the greatest idea. In 2010, Primus Group food auditors visited a Colorado melon farm run by brothers Ryan and Eric Jensen. The company told the farming brothers how to install a new cooling system. In 2011, the inspectors returned and gave the flawed new system, which violated federal guidelines, a “superior” safety report. Within a year, 33 cantaloupe consumers had died painful deaths after being infected with Listeria monocytogenes, a type of bacteria that was harbored by the brothers’ fruit. Federal investigators concluded that the installation of the new cooling system was a fatal flaw. Grist

TX: Texas toll road could be headed for default. Toll road opponents have been warning for years that public-private partnerships are not the silver bullet to solving transportation funding issues. A toll road in the Austin, Texas, region has recently provided those opponents with some more fodder.  Land Line Magazine           

IN: Lawmakers repudiate annuity privatization for retired government  workers. A legislative panel recommended Monday that state pension officials halt their plan to privatize annuity payments for retired state and local employees. nwitimes.com

LA: Louisiana treasurer says hospital privatization plan won’t save any money. Louisiana’s treasurer has condemned the state’s plan to privatize its publicly-operated hospitals, saying it will never realize the savings advertised by the Jindal Administration. FierceHealthFinance

VA: Delegate Ramadan files public testimony against Dulles Greenway operators…. In a legal memorandum filed Tuesday, Ramadan and his team of legal and economics advisers say that Toll Road Investors Partnership II, the operators of the greenway, fail to comply with three relevant portions of the state code: requiring that the toll rates be reasonable to users, that they do not discourage use of the road and that the operator doesn’t make more than a reasonable profit. Washington Post

TX:$325000 Fort Worth water study recommends no major changes. The city budgeted more than $325,000 for the review. The primary goal was to identify possible ways the city could save money by privatizing some water services. The large cost is something Pete Talleos, the president of the North Texas Association of Public Employees, says could have been better spent elsewhere. WFAA

CA: San Bernardino considers outsourcing fire services. The city of San Bernardino, which recently filed for bankruptcy, is again considering outsourcing its fire protection services. San Jose Mercury News


October 21, 2013


GOP Seeks Bidders for Amtrak Routes. House Republicans called Wednesday for the breakup of Amtrak’s de facto monopoly on U.S. intercity passenger-rail service, proposing to open up the government-controlled company’s Northeast Corridor and other lines to bidding by private investors. Foreign rail-service operators have been angling to develop high-speed rail in the U.S., where Amtrak’s fastest Acela trains average 85 miles per hour, far slower than the 220-mph pace found in Europe and Asia.  Wall Street Journal

How School Privatization Was Hatched By Racist 1950s Southern Segregationists….As I explore in a new Talk To Action report, embattled school privatization advocate Michelle Rhee, head of StudentsFirst and subject of the hagiographic documentary “Waiting For Superman”, claims that “education is the civil rights issue of our time” — But privatization schemes promoted by StudentsFirst and its Tea Party-aligned 2012 “Educator of the Year” were originally conceived by racist white Southern politicians as a plan to thwart the desegregation of racially separate schools mandated by the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Decision.   AlterNet

Two Visions. If you had $50,000 or more to invest in the privatization of public education, you could have been welcome at a recent meeting in Philadelphia of self-described school reformers. But if you’re an educator or parent interested in strengthening public education, you’d be out of luck, because that closed-door meeting was limited to deep-pocketed donors and investors — and it wasn’t meant to discuss how to restore funding to help children in Philadelphia’s resource-starved public schools, or to address the educational and financial failures of the city’s charter schools.  Huffington Post

TX: First foreign-owned toll road in Texas downgraded to junk bond status…. Concerned citizens with Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) immediately launched a boycott of SH 130. Since then, the anemically low traffic levels signaled trouble from the beginning and Moody’s downgraded the concession company’s rating in April warning of the risk of default. The downgrade this week warns of default unless the company can restructure its debt or attract a substantial increase in traffic. Moody’s predicts Cintra will be unable to meet its June 2014 debt service payment: “Thus, absent a sponsor injection of equity, a debt restructuring, or some other method of generating significantly more revenues, there is a high likelihood of a payment default in June 2014.”  Examiner.com

IL: Illiana toll road clears hurdle… Virginia Gates-Hamann, who said her family has farmed the Peotone area for generations, said the Illiana will destroy thousands of acres of farmland and the rural quality of life…. The argument that appeared to carry the day was that IDOT should develop the Illiana as a public-private partnership in which private investors would build and operate the toll road.  Chicago Tribune

CA: The privatization of our public housing. Politricktians are in bed with devilopers, selling out every piece of stolen, native land to the greediest, heartless bidder. So with the possibility of public housing becoming private, where does that leave the people who have been in this neighborhood for generations, such as my family and myself?  San Francisco Bay View

LA: Kennedy says feds could kill Jindal’s Charity privatization maneuver.…Dig deeper into the details and it becomes apparent that the planned “savings” won’t result from lower costs but from getting more money from the federal government through an accounting change. This won’t make the charity hospitals or Louisiana’s Medicaid program, which pays for the hospitals, more efficient. It will just make them more expensive, fueled by additional federal (American taxpayer) money.  Bayoubuzz



October 18, 2013


For Profit Colleges and the Public Private Axis. Don’t look now, but one of the biggest corporate scandals in Washington, D.C. is about to blow. State and federal investigators are deep into an investigation into the private sector college and university industry……“There are 32 state Attorneys General, led by Kentucky’s Attorney General Jack Conway, who are pooling resources and information to investigate for profit colleges for things like fraud, for lying to students about what their degree will get them, for lying about their placement rates both to students and to the government in terms of how many of the students are getting jobs after they graduate, for lying about whether it’s a federal loan or a private loan not guaranteed by the taxpayer,” Halperin told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. Corporate Crime Reporter

Food Stamp Outage Highlights Problems With Privatization of Public Services. The government shutdown was not to blame for the crashing of the food stamp program for poor families in 17 states over the weekend, just the latest in a long line of snafus by private contractors hired by government.  Truth-Out

IL: Putting the Brakes on Privatization in Chicago….In championing the law—titled the Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance—BGA maintains that further privatization in the city risks losing jobs for public employees, which can, in turn, lead to weakened Chicago neighborhoods. “To increase transparency and expose the effects of privatization, Sawyer’s ordinance calls for public City Council hearings and a cost-effectiveness study on all city contracts worth more than $250,000. The ordinance also protects privately contracted workers by guaranteeing them wages and benefits equal to the public employees they are replacing. That measure is intended to either deter layoffs or prevent overall city wage levels from declining if the privatization in question nevertheless goes through. In These Times

IN: IU Will Not Privatize Parking Operations. Indiana University Trustees announced today they will not privatize parking operations on the university’s Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses….“We conducted a thorough and inclusive analysis of both the financial and nonfinancial aspects of a long-term parking agreement and, in the end, concluded that the valuation of our parking assets simply wasn’t compelling enough to justify losing control of our operations for 50 years,”IU Vice President and Chief Financial Officer MaryFrances McCourt said. Indiana Public Media

MD: Maryland delays Board of Public Works vote on Purple Line proposal. The Maryland Department of Transportation delayed a vote by a state board on whether to seek a private consortium to build, run and help pay for a light-rail Purple Line because the agency needs more time to prepare the highly complex plan, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.  Washington Post

CA: Gov Brown Vetoes Bill Limiting Outsourcing of Court Jobs. In a veto message Monday morning, Gov. Jerry Brown said a new California law restricting trial courts’ ability to outsource jobs “goes too far.” The bill passed last month, AB 566, placed conditions on courts when outsourcing court jobs to private contractors. It required a showing that outsourcing would in fact save money.  Courthouse News Service

LA: Ascension, Livingston okay private toll road study. Ascension and Livingston parish leaders have agreed to allow a Los Angeles company to study the economic feasibility of a 2-mile elevated toll road linking the parishes that would be privately owned. The Advocate