December 31, 2014


Private Interests Coming to a Public School Near You. Government agencies are falling short in their efforts to reform education, so corporations are stepping in. But will they do more harm than good? The Atlantic

The Privatization of War: Private Mercenaries and the “War on Terror” in American Foreign Policy. . . Naomi Klein has commented that Iraq was more than a failed occupation, it was a “radical experiment in corporate rule.”5 Led by radical free-market ideologists, the Bush administration placed a primacy on deregulation, corporate tax cuts and privatizing state-run industry in Iraq, which was to be a shining model for the virtues of neoliberal capitalism. After Saddam’s government fell, Booz-Allen Hamilton, one of the Beltway’s biggest consulting firms, organized a conference which called for the rewriting of Iraq’s business, property and trade laws in ways conducive to foreign investment. The Bush administration ultimately tore down Iraq’s centralized, state-run economy without building anything to replace it while provoking civil war and putting in place a political system ensuring fierce regional and ethnic divisions.6   Center for Research on Globalization

PA: Pennsylvania School District on the Verge of Privatizing Public Education. The school district for York, Pennsylvania, may soon have all of its public schools operated by a private company as a result of a judge’s ruling. The York City School District developed financial difficulties two years ago, which led to the appointment of a local businessman, David Meckley, as the chief recovery officer. That put him in charge of the district’s financial matters except setting the tax rate. But now Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh granted a request from the administration of outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and turned control of the district to Meckley, who has advocated for converting all eight of the local public schools to charter schools that would be run by a for-profit company, Charter Schools USA. AllGov

CT: A Push For Privatizing Schools. Lately it has been impossible to watch television without being told by Families for Excellent Schools that 40,000 impoverished children are “trapped in failing schools,” and that this can be fixed. Hartford Courant

CT: Is Gov. Malloy warming up to tolls? Toni Boucher says they are a bad idea. As Gov. Dannel P. Malloy seemingly backed away from his reluctance to reintroduce tolls on Connecticut highways, as voiced during the fall election campaign, state Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) is holding firm on her view that tolls are really just another tax. “There is still no convincing evidence for making the case for tolls,” Ms. Boucher said in a press release issued Tuesday, Dec. 30. “The reintroduction of tolls would be another tax on top of the highest gas taxes in the country. This would further burden Connecticut’s overtaxed commuters and the business sector.” Wilton Bulletin