CUPE school support workers are speaking up to keep P3s out of Nanaimo-area public schools. In a recent presentation to the school board, CUPE 606 warned that P3s are no solution to underfunding. The presentation drew on Nova Scotia’s expensive experiment with P3 schools, and pointed to a study documenting serious quality concerns when custodial services were contracted out in Edmonton.
An unfolding story in Philadelphia adds further evidence to the case against corporate schools. Last year the city handed management of 20 schools to a private, for-profit company. A year later, Edison Schools Inc. seems destined to join the Enron ranks. Facing a financial crisis and a stock price that plummeted from over $20 to less than a dollar, the corporation took it out on the students.
Just before the school year began, Edison sold off musical instruments, lab supplies and textbooks to raise cash for the troubled corporation. Company executives moved onto school property to save on rent - until the board kicked them out. And the company head proposed a disturbing scheme to force students to work an hour a day in the school offices, saying the unpaid work could replace 75 adults on salary.