The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Chicago Schools Enrich the Contractors

Jun 5, 2017

Privatization runs throughout the Chicago Public Schools. In just the past three years, CPS has handed management of custodial services to Aramark and Sodexo; brought in contract nurses through RCM, a military supply company; and given various aspects of the hiring system to not one but two vendors. Private companies have been given contracts for human resources and testing, among other things.

Aramark and Sodexo won the contract to manage cleaning in 2014, totaling 340 million dollars. They claimed they would provide the service for less money, and that they’d be able to provide these savings by using “innovative technologies.” Reality tells a different story: schools that are now filthy and ridden by vermin and disease. Aramark achieved savings by laying off hundreds of custodians. Parents, students and teachers have been complaining steadily for three years about this filth. They bring concerns to local school councils, to the School Board, to local politicians. In response, Aramark spends money to fly in managers from out of town to field complaints at specific schools, while changing nothing. The money would be better spent on custodial staff.

The Board is now proposing to let Aramark and Sodexo manage the building engineers in each building. The engineers – the ones who do the actual work – would take a pay cut to keep their jobs. In other words, one more attack.

The crisis in our schools is created by profit!