Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Schools for sale

Chicago leads the nation in privatization

Chicago leads all other U.S. cities when it comes to the erosion of public space. If it's not nailed down, Mayor Emanuel wants to sell it off or lease it to private corporations.
Chicago has been the most aggressive city in the United States in the privatization of public infrastructure. Since 2004, the city has privatized the Chicago Skyway toll road, four downtown parking garages, and the city’s system of 36,000 parking meters, with only the recent financial crisis preventing the privatization of Midway Airport as well. -- Illinois PIRG
The privatization of Chicago’s parking meters – allowing a Morgan-Stanley backed set of investors to reap the profits for the next 75 years from the city’s parking meters – sparked public outrage as parking rates quadrupled overnight in some parts of the city, meters malfunctioned, and critics, including the city’s own Inspector General, argued that the city received hundreds of millions of dollars less for the meter system than it was worth. Morgan-Stanley's man in Chicago, greasing the deal with no public debate was Bill Daley, the mayor's brother and now Obama's Chief of Staff.

Next up on the auction block -- the city's public school system, bit by bit.


  1. I believe Detroit / Michigan may take the dishonor of leading the way in privatization, alas. After all, our governor did more than sell off toll roads and parking meters. He voided the results of democratic, legislatively mandated elections (not only school boards, but city councils and township boards) and simply sent in Emergency Financial Managers to run cities and school districts, selling off the few successful boutique schools in the Detroit system to the highest bidders.

    We'll see your Emanuel and raise him two Bings.

  2. Nancy,
    You may be right. But give Rahm some time.