False Economy of Privatization

The San Antonio ISD school board, after receiving an education on the issue from members of our local affiliate, has voted down a proposal to move toward privatization of school operations and maintenance services, including the work of bus drivers and cafeteria staff. Members of the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel turned out in strength at a January 27 board meeting where the matter was decided, and they made trustees aware of the track record for privatization experiments elsewhere. Outsourcing would fail to save money, Alliance President Shelley Potter told the board. Typically, private companies negotiate good prices at the beginning, she explained, but jack up costs later, after the district has lost the capacity to provide services on its own.

“These are our kids, and we will take care of them,” Potter said. “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s harder to make a difference.”