March 30, 2015


Push for Private Options in Education Gains Momentum. A growing number of statehouses are considering measures that would allow school districts, parents and students increasingly to use taxpayer funds to explore alternatives to traditional state-backed public education. . . . It has also gained momentum from elections last November that increased state legislatures’ numbers of Republican lawmakers—traditionally backers of school choice. Wall Street Journal

Paul Krugman: Privatization Memories. Dave Weigel has one of the more interesting Harry Reid retrospectives, focusing on his role in fighting back Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security — and in particular on the way he forged an alliance with liberal bloggers. I remember that episode very well, for several reasons. One was that I, too, was writing a lot, debunking one bad argument for privatization after another. It wasn’t the first time I had done that kind of thing, but this was different in two ways: it was really intense, and for once my side of the argument won the political fight. New York Times

LA: Report: Privatization deal puts med school at risk. The privatization deal struck for LSU’s Shreveport hospital has created management and financial tensions that threaten the health of the university’s nearby medical school, according to an outside review.mA consulting firm describes the current connection between the LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport and the research foundation running the state-owned hospital as “untenable,” saying it places the medical school “at risk financially and programmatically.” Shreveport Times

NJ: Woodbury to study privatizing water utility. . . Tuesday’s unanimous vote to begin searching for an advisor follows the passage of a controversial bill signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie last month, which made it easier for many municipalities to privatize their public water systems. Dubbed the Water Infrastructure Protection Act, the law removes the public vote requirement to sell water systems under certain emergency conditions — a stipulation many aging water utilities meet, including the one in Woodbury.

IL: Ten reasons why Illiana Tollway is bad project – opinion. . . The private company or consortium would build and operate the tollway and may very well lose money and leave – sticking the taxpayers with the incurred debt. The tolls will be far higher than those on other Illinois tollways, presaging minimal usage, such as what has happened to the now privately owned Indiana Toll Road, which has declared bankruptcy. Chicago Tribune

IL: Editorial: A public disapproval of privatization. On February 20, Sen. William E. Brady, R-44, filed a bill to the Illinois General Assembly that would transition the University into a private institution by 2021, a process that would begin in July 2015. If the bill is passed, the University would officially be a private institution instead of the public beacon it has always been recognized as. Even though the bill is currently on pause after it was amended on March 27, decreasing the likelihood of it passing, we are pushing back and advocating for the University to maintain its public status. Daily Illini