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Local Government Powers: Privatization. Stepping back: Sources and limitations on local government powers Choices by state in how to provide services/regulate through particular (governmental?) means But… Can local (or state) governments then allocate power to “private” entities?

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Local Government Powers: Privatization

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Local government powers privatization l.jpg

Local Government Powers: Privatization

  • Stepping back:

    • Sources and limitations on local government powers

    • Choices by state in how to provide services/regulate through particular (governmental?) means

  • But…

    • Can local (or state) governments then allocate power to “private” entities?

    • What rules apply and what issues arise?

  • Common examples:

    • Privatization of jails

    • Use of charter schools


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Privatization of Jails: Tulsa

  • History of civil rights problems due to jail conditions

  • New approach

    • County commissioners…

    • establish “public trust” (TCCJA) to manage funds from new sales tax…

    • to pay private entity (CCA)… to manage and operate county jail…

    • under contract...

    • subject to state statutory & administrative requirements that apply to county jails and privately operated jails…

    • relating to security, inmate discipline and employment, food, clothing, housing


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Jail Privatization: Key Questions

  • Separation of powers & “delegation”

    • Why worry about delegation?

    • What is being delegated & is delegation permissible?

    • How are concerns addressed in the structure here?

  • Authority of TCCJA

    • Where does authority come from and how interpret?

  • Relation to constitutional role of sheriff?

    • Is this modification? Or de facto abolition?

    • Must sheriff be the one to privatize?

  • Special legislation concerns?


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Privatization & Charter Schools

  • State Constitutional provisions (NJ)

    • Legislature to “provide for the maintenance and support of thorough & efficient system of free public schools”

    • Historically, public school districts with public schools

    • New models: “charter schools” with public funding where special charter and independent governing board

    • Implications (and for whom)?


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Charter schools: Legal Issues?

  • Statutory structure (NJ)

    • Procedure for establishment & operating guidelines (admission, enrollment, transport)

    • Funding: district of residence pays per pupil amount to charter school (as set by state commissioner, but presumptively 90% of local budget for grade level)

    • State “guidelines” to prevent segregation, including grade level and school comparisons


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Charter Schools: Analysis

  • Segregation risk?

    • Will charter schools affect racial balance in public school district from which it draws pupils?

  • Economic impact

    • While charter schools draw resources that prevent school district from providing viable, “thorough & efficient” education for others?

  • Court’s response: Initial flaw? Interpretative stance? Why?


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