Source: Elisa Crouch, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 4, 2012
Missouri calls it quits on Imagine charter schools in St. Louis
Source: Elisa Crouch, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 18, 2012
The Missouri Board of Education put underperforming charter schools statewide on notice Tuesday by voting to close all Imagine charter schools in St. Louis…. The move follows months of increasing scrutiny of the schools’ financial, leadership and academic problems. The schools are operated by Virginia-based Imagine Schools Inc., a for-profit charter school management company. Students enrolled at the schools make up about one-third of the city’s charter school population. State test results from 2011 showed that nearly all students at the city’s Imagine schools were performing below grade level in reading and math, prompting St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Nicastro to call for the closure of the schools.
In December, their sponsor, Missouri Baptist University, announced it would close two of them — Imagine Academy of Academic Success and Imagine Academy of Cultural Arts — this spring, and place the other four on probation. On Monday, Missouri Baptist University relinquished its sponsorship of the six charter schools, handing all regulatory authority over to the state. And one day later, the Board of Education voted to close them….
…The expected closures would mean that Imagine Schools, the largest charter school management company in the nation, will no longer have any charter schools in Missouri. Last summer, the governing board at Imagine Renaissance Academy in Kansas City severed its ties with Imagine and will close the school this year….
Source: Matthew Weigelt, Washington Technology, Acquisitive Mind blog, April 9, 2012
In a recent survey of more than 100 companies, 60 percent of them reported they had lost employees to the government insourcing initiative.
It’s a 13 percent increase from 2010, according to the consulting firm Grant Thornton in its 17th Annual Government Contractor Industry Survey, which was conducted in 2011. Grant Thornton released it in 2012.
Agencies have more aggressively insourced work from companies in recent years as Congress and the Obama administration have said the government relies too much on the private sector to do its work. Spending on contracts increased greatly under the George W. Bush administration and the Barack Obama administration has proudly said it’s cut back on contract spending.
Source: Brian Martinez, Orange County Register, March 21, 2012
UC Irvine is hiring custodians, who currently work on the campus through an outside contractor, into 94 full-time positions as the final step of an in-sourcing process agreed to by university and labor union officials.
As employees of UCI, the custodians’ salaries will be similar to what they are now – starting at $13.70 an hour – but their health insurance options, retirement benefits and sick leave are likely to be more favorable, according to university officials. They will also receive official UCI uniforms and identification cards.
Source: Kelly Roher, School Bus Fleet, April 05, 2012
This school year, Clovis Unified School District (USD) brought its special-education school bus service in house and anticipates a savings of about $400,000 per year as a result….The district had been contracting the service when Director of Transportation Charlie Ott joined the operation two years ago after previously working at Yuba City (Calif.) USD. At the latter district, he oversaw the transition from contracted to district-run bus service, and he told SBF in an interview that it continues to be a successful move for Yuba City…
…He approached the contractor’s management team to inform them that Clovis would be bringing in house 60 bus routes starting with the 2011-12 school year. Realizing that this could affect bus drivers’ employment for the next year, those who worked for the contractor were given an opportunity to interview for positions within the school district….
….All of the changes cost a reported $8 million, but Ott said the district will see long-term savings….He arrived at the estimated $400,000 annual savings by completing an analysis of the total cost of continuing with the school bus company, taking into consideration historical data that the contract used, such as consumer price index for urban areas figures and cost of living allowance figures and running them on a spreadsheet for the next 18 years. He then totaled all of Clovis USD’s costs, including the parking lot, buildings, buses, positions, salutatory benefits, health and welfare benefits and retirement, including historical data, and compared the bus company and school district numbers at 12-, 15-, and 18-year intervals. …..
Source: Olivier Hoedeman, Satoko Kishimoto, Martin Pigeon, David A. McDonald (eds.), Transnational Institute, March 2012
After decades of failed water privatisation, cities like Paris are starting to bring water back into public hands. Download this free ‘must-read’ book for policy makers and activists looking to democratise water services.
Source: Theresa Boyle, Toronto Star, March 27 2012
The Niagara Health System, which battled a deadly C. difficile outbreak last year, is cutting ties with the U.S. firm that manages its cleaning services amid allegations of lax housekeeping…Meantime, an investigation into hospital cleanliness by CBC’s Marketplace, revealed that housekeeping at three of seven hospitals in the Niagara Health System is wanting. An episode that aired last week showed how a harmless gel was placed on high-touch surfaces like light switches and elevator buttons. Some 24 later, the gel was still there, indicating the surfaces had not been cleaned.
Aramark had managed cleaning services at NHS since 2002, but organization spokesperson Caroline Bourque Wiley said a decision has been taken to move the management position in-house. In addition, she said the organization will be adding the equivalent of 18 new full-time cleaning positions.
Source: Mará Rose Williams, Kansas City Star, March 20, 2012
Kansas City Public Schools said Tuesday that it would take control of the Afrikan Centered Education Collegium Campus at the end of the school year, ending a long, up-and-down relationship with the program’s leaders…. The district said it would not renew its contract with Afrikan Centered Education Task Force Inc. because the arrangement has become “financially, operationally and practically unfeasible.” Instead, the district will run the program under a new name: African-Centered College Preparatory Academy….
Source: Albert McKeon, Nashua Telegraph, February 3, 2012
Given the city is the sole shareholder of Pennichuck Corp. stock, bought and paid for with the sale of municipal bonds, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau and several aldermen said they don’t object to the public release of names and salaries of Pennichuck employees….Their varied opinions about transparency and privacy underscored the tension behind the city taking ownership of a for-profit water utility that is governed by a separate board of directors, while falling under state regulation….After the city’s $200 million purchase of the company became official Jan. 25, operations at the company proceeded without a hiccup, Lozeau and others have said. With the exception of two Pennichuck executives leaving the company last week with $1.16 million in publicly-funded severance pay, the utilities, by all measures, continued providing water as they had under private ownership.
Source: Gerald McKinstry, LoHud.Com, January 3, 2012
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino canceled a contract with the Route 76 bus operator despite the Board of Legislators’ restoring the money in the budget….Westchester County contracts with Liberty Lines to operate its countywide Bee Line Bus System, but the 76 line was run by a separate, smaller operator, Port Chester-Rye Transit.
Proud said the county would extend its 13 bus route, which now goes from Rye to Ossining, to cover most of the bus line, but it was not cost-effective to extend it all the way to Milton Point, a wealthier waterfront neighborhood.
Source: Brian Heaton, Government Technology, November 15, 2011
Faced with rebuilding its Scheduling Project Management System (SPMS), INDOT elected to handle the task in-house, completing the effort in 13 months and saving upward of $6 million in the process.
The project began in 2009, as INDOT originally planned on having an outside vendor upgrade the SPMS. But after getting a quote of three years and $7.5 million from Info Tech — the original system’s vendor — the department’s IT officials believed that by adding more contract developers they could pull off the project more quickly and for a fraction of the cost.