Watch for these warning signs:
If you have school board members, a superintendent, or other administrator who…
What is going on at board of education meetings? Is there or has there been discussion or official action taken at the school board level, with the board entertaining the adoption of policies allowing a corporate takeover and the firing of our ESP members. Head such board action off. Contact your UniServ office. Ask them to arrange training for your local leaders on how to establish, organize, and implement a successful Board Watch Committee. Such a committee will help monitor board meetings closely for any talk of a corporate takeover and the subsequent firing of ESP members. Remember, decisions to request bids for goods and services must be made in public session.
You may hear talk among school administrators, business people, or board members about the virtues of a corporate takeover. Check out rumors promptly. Administrators may say, “We’re not thinking of getting rid of everyone, I’ll be asked to determine who stays, at least for now.” Helping administrators decide who should stay will result in a feeding frenzy of member verses member. Stay united. These administrators forget that once all employees are sub-contracted, they are no longer needed.
You may notice unknown visitors or representatives from private corporations conducting tours on school grounds. They may even come in at night. These vendors will also help the district write up bid specifications. They, the vendors then have insider trading information.
You may notice administrators, supervisors, or board members invited to meetings with private corporation representatives.
Watch for the corporate takeover of other public services in your community. Look for any evidence that politicians, administrators, or businesses in your area look favorably at turning to the private sector to provide public services. You can go the NJ elect website and look up the vendors to see who they have made political donations to, from the state level down to the local level of political campaigns.
- Is a member of a far right organization,
- Seems greatly enamored with the concept of applying competition or market forces to the public school system,
- Has been heavily supported by business,
- Is coming under increasing fire for poorly run schools, or
- Is facing severe budget problems
…then it’s time to start organizing your members and key community leaders around what could be coming and why it is not a good idea. You may want to ask the NJEA affiliate in a new administrator’s previous district if a corporate take-over of and the firing of school service ESP was an issue.
If you notice any of these warning signs or if you have any questions, call your UniServ office immediately.