Show Me the Money!... Is Rahm Emanuel buying runoff aldermen's support for dozens of more 'turnarounds'?

The Chicago Teachers Union endorsed 24 candidates for alderman, where 12 won, 6 lost and 6 are in run-offs in April. The CTU backed winners were Bob Fioretti (2nd), Pat Dowell (3rd), Will Burns (4th), Leslie Hairston (5th), Michelle Harris (8th), Matt O'Shea (19th), Rick Munoz (22nd), Jason Ervin (28th), Ariel Reboyras (30), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Ameya Pawar (47th), and Joe Moore (49th).

Eight of the winners signed a pledge for a moratorium on charter schools in their wards. Some of the other winners have pledged to fully support their neighborhood schools.

Although 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack (above with Sam Schmidt and Josh Schmidt at the October 29, 2010 CTU LEAD dinner) received an award from the Chicago Teachers Union, he once supported Mayor Daley's "Renaissance 2010" program and has refused to state the he will oppose "turnaround" during the Emanuel administration. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Waguespack, who was honored as the "CTU Defender of Public Education" at the CTU LEAD (Legislators Educators Appreciation Dinner) dinner on October 29, 2010, last fall, did not sign the charter school moratorium. He also initially supported Mayor Daley's Renaissane 2010 program, but said it has since "failed in its goals." Waduespack also has drawn criticism from several union teachers and CTU leaders for supporting the purging of veteran teachers from Prescott Elementary School by Principal Erin Roche. Prescott is in the 32nd Ward.

CTU teacher delegates Donielle Lawson (24th) and Jodi Biancalana (36th) were endorsed by the CTU but lost their elections for aldermen.

The CTU endorsed candidates in runoffs are: Freddrenna Lyle (6th), Toni Foulkes (15th), Latasha Thomas (17th), Che Smith (20th), Cuauhtemoc Morfin (25th), and Debra Silverstein (50th).

The CTU Political Action Committee (of which this reporter is a member of) decided to endorse the following candidates in their runoffs (who were not endorsed in the February 22 election): John Rice (36th), Tim Cullerton (38th), Mary O'Connor (41st), Tim Egan (43rd), John Arena (45th), and James Cappleman (46th).

The Chicago Federation of Labor, of which the CTU is a member of, endorsed three more candidates in the April 5 runoff election, including Egan, Arena, and Ald. Danny Solis in the 25th ward, Chicago News Coop reported. The CTU endorsed his challenger Morfin, who is a much stronger supporter of public education.

Chicago Mayor Elect Rahm Emanuel (above at the UNO dinner on November 16, 2010) has promised to do "turnaround" on 35 Chicago public schools during his first term and privatize their management under the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). AUSL is represented on Emanuel's education transition team, but the Chicago Teachers Union is not. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.It appears newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the corporate backed candidate who carried an anti-union message throughout the campaign, is looking to fund some of the runoff races.

Under the new state campaign finance law, Emanuel’s PAC will be limited to contributing just $50,000 to each of eight aldermanic races in which Emanuel has so far made endorsements, according to CNC.

Sources say he's planning to support CTU endorsed candidates Lyle, Thomas, Rice and Cullerton. He already supported CTU backed candidate Silverstein in the Feb. election.

Alderman Frederrina Lyle (6th Ward) was one of the most forceful speakers against the "turnaround" for Deneen Elementary School at the February 8, 2010 hearing on "turnaround" (above). Now that she has accepted significant financial support from Rahm Emanuel in her runoff race for another term, critics are wondering whether she will resist Emanuel's demand for 35 more turnarounds during his first term as mayor. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Incumbent Ald. Lyle, Substance readers may remember, was one of the strongest aldermanic candidates to support public education. She spoke out forcefully against the Academy of Urban School Leadership or AUSL at the school closing hearings last year. She said AUSL is merely a way to privatize the school services, which amounts to essentially giving up on the students.

"(Emanuel) said, ‘I’m willing to support you if you want my help,’" Lyle told CNC. Lyle is in a runoff against Roderick Sawyer, former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer's son. "If anything, it will be some financial support. Maybe it will be an appearance in the ward. I don’t know yet."

Emanuel has said he would like to see up to 35 turnarounds in his first term as mayor, with AUSL outsourced to manage the schools.

So which side will Lyle be on once she gets elected?

Show me the money!


March 24, 2011 at 11:56 PM

By: Maureen


I want a moratorium on charters until CPS can proe which ones are high-performing, just like Terry Mazany said on Chicago Tonight.

Charters haven't outperformed neighborhood schools. They haven't lived up to their hype.

This is an experiment with the poorest children and this privatization of a public institution will lead to separate and unequal schools -- this is the real civil rights issue of our time, Arne Duncan.

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