January 28, 2014


Redflex Bribery Scandal Spreads Nationwide. Local Officials in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee and Washington received gifts and other financial incentives intended to encourage them to do business with Redflex.  TheNewspaper.com

Costs of Privatization Hidden in Plain Sight. Privatization is often sold as providing higher quality services and infrastructure at lower cost. In fact, important costs are regularly overlooked. In other words, services and infrastructure have been privatized, even though keeping them public is the better choice. Chicago’s experiences with privatization make a textbook case for not deciding to privatize without carefully identifying costs. By failing to do so, Chicago has found itself locked into bad deals that will last for three to four generations.   Truth-Out

TX: Fewer drivers using pay highway. Public records requested by the Southside Reporter in October were finally released via email last week, showing that the total number of drivers headed both north and south on those two segments dropped from 402,915 in November 2012 to 360,865 in September 2013, the last complete month released by TxDOT. That’s a 10.4 percent reduction in use…. Chris Lippincott, a representative of SH-130, the private company that manages the toll road and shares its profits with the state, cautioned that segments 5 and 6 might be experiencing less usage because they aren’t as accessible…. San Antonio Express

IN: Gary-Chicago airport board OKs privatization deal. The Gary-Chicago International Airport Authority has approved a privatization deal giving a Virginia company exclusive rights to develop real estate on and around the airport for the 40 years and gives its subsidiary a 10-year contract to run the airport with up to 30 years of extensions. Washington Post

WI: ‘Not For Sale’: Educators and Parents in Milwaukee Score Victory Against Privatization. A recent Milwaukee school committee decision sends a strong message to public school students, parents and NEA educators: When you show up, when you use your collective voice and flex your union muscle on behalf of students, you  can make a difference for schools and students.Last week, after hearing from more than 50 public-school supporters during more than two hours of testimony, a Milwaukee School Board committee decided to drop privately run charter schools from the list of options for school improvement in Milwaukee. If approved by the entire school board, this would mean Milwaukee public schools on the state’s “not meeting expectations” list — there are currently 48 in the city — could not be privatized in the name of school “reform” and in the interest of private profiteers.  NEA Today

NJ: NJ Moves to Privatize Toll Collectors [POLL/AUDIO]. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday on a plan to privatize toll collectors on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. New Jersey 101.5

PA: Bethlehem school board tables vote on outsourcing substitute teachers. The board unanimously agreed with Director Angela Sinkler that it needed to spend more time reviewing a switch to Substitute Teacher Services and communicate with the district’s substitutes. The board will revisit the issue at its Feb. 10 meeting.  LehighValleyLive.com

MI: Ypsilanti to sell low-income housing sites for $980K to public-private partnership. The transfer and sale will assist with the $27 million demolition and rebuild of the 80-unit Parkridge Homes site, as well as the redevelopment of several scattered sites throughout Ypsilanti…. The city council approved the first reading of an ordinance to transfer and purchase last week.  MLive.com