With 2023 receding in the rear-view mirror, we’re getting ready for what might be a wild ride in 2024.
We haven’t finished our plans for 2024 so I’m writing to ask for your help. ITPI is what I call a “back bench” organization. Our most important work is helping organizations, leaders, unions, and others fight efforts to privatize public services and infrastructure and expand access to publicly controlled public goods.
So let us know what you see on the horizon in your state and what kind of help you might need. This will help us finalize our plans.
Here are a few things we know we’ll be focused on in 2024.
- The dismantling of public education. We’ll be working with our growing list of national and state partners (too many to list) to support campaigns to prevent (and rollback!) the growth of school voucher legislation. We will also be challenging for-profit charter school programs that, like vouchers, bleed the public education system of the support it needs to create an educated public and a thriving democracy. While the number of states expanding such programs has increased, including some expanding programs to provide universal access, there have been a number of states – including Texas! – that have successfully blocked voucher programs.
- Improving public education. We’ll continue to lift up new ideas about how schools are engaging their communities—students, parents, teachers, administrators, and neighbors—to respond to the broader needs and make education more effective. This innovative idea, called community schools, has actually been around for a century, and there’s lots of evidence it’s time to showcase the model’s successes and take it to scale. We’re also always on the lookout for what else makes for a stronger public education—such as the role of educational support professionals.
- Pro-public governing. Last year we published, along with Local Progress, a deep dive into best practices in public procurement – how to ensure that the $2 trillion that governments spend every year buying goods and services decreases inequality, eliminates structures of institutional racism, and attacks climate change. This year, we’ll expand that work developing tools, trainings, and support for organizations and public officials across the country. (Let us know if you’re involved in government procurement in your area and want to learn more about the report.)
And, as always, ITPI will continue to present a steady stream of briefs (like this one on the charter school real estate industrial complex), tools (like these 10 questions to ask before considering privatization), blogposts, op-eds (like this one asking laid-off tech workers to consider public service work, or this one about big tax prep giants blocking access to free filing opportunities), and even some interesting analysis about alternatives to neoliberalism (and why there needs to be alternatives).
photo: Chris, Creative Commons Licensing