The August 2016 Issue of Substance

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We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

Labor Notes 'Troublemakers' school August 20 was all about striking...

It was all about striking! Labor Notes Chicago Troublemakers School, Saturday, August 20, at University of Illinois at Chicago Student Union was all about going on strike. The speakers were union members that had gone . . .


Union busting charter management company receiving special treatment from Detroit leaders, Michigan governor... Charter school closes in Detroit two weeks before school year begins...

Another more-hype-than-reality charter school just closed in Detroit (which among other things gave Chicago Public Schools Barbara Byrd Bennett and some other educational leaders) two weeks before school is scheduled to begin. "New Paradigm" charter . . .


Substance articles delayed because of technical difficulties with the website...

Since August 23, 2016, publishing articles on the Substance website has been impaired because of technical difficulties. Substance staff members have been notified that a queue is being established and that articles will be published . . .


Chicago Teachers Union details impact of outsourcing on schools in new report issued August 22, 2016...

Two days before the Chicago Board of Eduction is scheduled to meet (and approve its Proposed Budget for 2016 - 2017), the Chicago Teachers Union issued a detailed research report criticizing the outsourcing of major . . .


Chicago sabotaging swimming program and water polo teams at Harrison Park by removing the coach whose teams have dominated the city for years... Is gentrification behind it?...

In the ongoing fight against gentrification -- and what many are calling "ethnic cleansing" -- in the Pilsen neighborhood (a South Side Chicago community that is predominately Hispanic), parents have learned that a beloved coach . . .


TRUMPWACHT: Donald Trump... Trump's 'empire' a confusing maze of debts and 'opaque ties'... New York Times reports

The New York Times is reporting (on line on August 20 and on the front page of the print edition, to which we subscribe, on August 21) on what it calls the 'maze' of Donald . . .


Outlining the failure of neoliberalism, Joseph Stiglitz now outlines how the dominant ideology of neo-capitalism since the 1980s is being abandoned in favor of a new socialism, and a 'neo-Keynesianism'...

The growing critique of monopoly capitalism that has swept the USA in recent years is part of an international understanding that so-called "neoliberalism" (actually, the latest jargon defending rapacious capitalism) is either dead or dying. . . .


Substance back 'up' after a week off the grid, and then technical difficulties caused by, of all things, a meteor shower and the Northern Lights...

By August 16, 2016, Substance was back on the Internet, after a week "off the grid" and an additional two days off the Internet, apparently because of the recent meteor shower and the Northern Lights . . .


Chicago Public Schools releases 2016 - 2017 budget in 235 page PDF format, schedules hearings for August 17, August 18 and August 19...

The Chicago Board of Education has released its proposed budget for the 2016 - 2017 school year, six weeks into the fiscal year (which began July 1). Hearings are scheduled on August 17, 18, and . . .


MEDIA WATCH: Chicago Sun-Times does anti pension propaganda behind the smokescreen of 'news analysis'...

Sun-Times City Hall Reporter Fran Spielman, in her "Pension Contention" article of July 29, 2016, forgot that if you subtract the 974 administrators with pensions of over $100,000 pension, the pensions of the remaining 27,740 . . .


TRUMPWACHT: Donald Trump... Lousy 'businessman' kept above water by Daddy...Cheap chiseler who stiffed working people and used bankruptcy to scam others... Cowardly Vietnam draft dodger... and bully against a Gold Star family...

This article isn't about Hillary Clinton. It's about Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Families, and histories that have been plowed under for too many years, from World War II through those of us who fought . . .


Financial Transaction Tax grains support on a national level, while agitation for the tax continues in Chicago...

Support for a Financial Transaction Tax grew during the summer of 2016 as proponents of the tax presented their case to the Democratic National Convention and continued, as in Chicago, to agitate for the tax . . .


The talk is about 'accountability,' but at the bargaining table only a couple of CTU officers and the lawyers are really doing the bargaining as the contract stalling begins its second year...

It's now been more than a year since the Chicago Teachers Union's contract expired and a faction of the union leadership declared, through the words of union president Karen Lewis, that the union would continue . . .


Secret ballot eliminated for upcoming CTU strike vote?... At least some Chicago Teachers Union leaders plan to avoid secret ballot when the union's members are asked to vote -- again -- to 'authorize' a strike (despite the fact that the union voted to authorize a strike in December 2015)...

Will the Chicago Teachers Union be holding its first major vote in history without honoring the secret ballot rights of the union's 27,000 members? That's the question being asked by many of the union's members . . .


BOARDWATCH: August 24, 2016 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education hears from dozens of angry parents and teachers denouncing the latest round of cuts and the attacks on special education services...

The Chicago Board of Education met for its monthly meeting on August 24, 2016, with six of the seven members of the Board present. The Board's meeting had to approve the main item on the . . .


Chicago Teachers Union confronts the Chicago Board of Education with blistering report outlining the fraud, mismanagement and waste in the Board's many outsourcing programs...

The Chicago Teachers Union issued a blistering report critical of the Chicago Board of Education's massive outsourcing of services to private corporations, briefly speaking about the report at the Board's August 24, 2016 meeting. Board . . .


Access Living's critique of the CPS budget... Major budget analysts challenge Board of Education's FY 2017 budget while hundreds protests and dozens speak against Chicago's latest round of school-based cuts....

The August 24, 2016 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education was once again devoted to a delayed approval of the budget for the school system's fiscal year (which began on July 1, 2016), and . . .


Access Living challenges CPS Proposed Budget, elaborating on CPS's attacks on the rights of students with disabilities under so-called 'Student Based Budgeting'...

Despite the refusal of the current leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union to utilize the union's vast resources to do a comprehensive analysis of the Chicago Board of Education's "Proposed Budget 2016 - 2017," other . . .


Capital budget hearing began early so media missed much of it...

I was late, apparently very late, for the August 17, 2016 Chicago Board of Education "hearing" on the proposed 2016 - 2017 capital budget. The hearing had been listed on the CPS website as starting . . .


Board plays 'bait and switch' on timing of capital budget hearing at Chicago Teacher Academy, while also avoiding discussion of a real capital improvement plan

Despite public announcements that the Chicago Board of Education's August 17, 2016 budget hearings, the Board of Education's budget team began the actual hearings early. One result was that a number of reporters, including Substance . . .


PFT denounces Claypool's budget attacks on Chicago teachers, CTU...

Parents 4 Teachers, the growing Chicago organization that has been one of the leaders in community organizing for better public schools, issued its latest manifesto on April 16, 2016, urging people to participate in the . . .


Lies my union president told me... 'It is my hope that current and future generations will overcome the seemingly willful blindness that is found in Weingarten’s article...'

[Editor's Note: The following -- Lies My Union President Told Me... Letter to the American Educator re AFT President Randy Weingarten’s “Honoring Our Past and Inspiring Our Future”... (http://www.aft.org/ae/summer2016/wws) -- is from New York union . . .


Humboldt Park meeting demands progressive revenue solutions to Chicago Public Schools financial problems...

The flyer entitled “Fighting for the Schools our Students Deserve” arrived in my mailbox on Friday, July 29, 2016. It said that there was going to be a meeting August 1, 2016 at the Humboldt . . .


BOARDWATCH: July 2016 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education ...

The seven-member Chicago Board of Education held its monthly meeting on July 26, 2016, once again at the Board's downtown office and not in the city's more than 500 public schools, in the community. Once . . .


We were forced to suspend subscriptions to our print edition a year ago, and after wishing we could get back into print have finally admitted that we can only continue as an online publication. Therefore, readers can no longer subscribe to Substance on paper, but those who wish to donate will be thanked.

Contact Substance | Suggestions (email)