Board of Education May 27 agenda continues push for charter school expansion, AUSL 'turnaround' fraud, and the further privatization of services that should be performed by CPS workers and not by private contractors...

While the Chicago Board of Education and the people of Chicago continue to await the results of the federal investigation into the corruption allegations against Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett and members of her out-of-town entourage, the Board will celebrate the second anniversary of the most massive school closings by against expanding Chicago's charter schools and again subsidizing the fraudulent AUSL 'turnaround' programs.

Despite the growing scandals involving the contracts to re-privatize CPS custodial services, "Chief Administrative Officer" Tim Cawley (above at microphone) was allowed to continue his lies about the Aramark services during the March 25, 2015 Board meeting, even as the public was beginning to learn about the federal investigations into the corruption of Barbara Byrd Bennett and her "entourage." In the left hand corner above is Sherry Ulery, one of the Ohio bureaucrats who was imported to Chicago by Barbara Byrd Bennett. Ulery, one of several "chief of staff" people, was among those subpoenaed to appear before the federal grand jury. Ulery and several others are now holding the title "Chief of Staff," even though CPS has never had a public discussion of why the schools need "chiefs of staff." In the background above are many of the reporters who have been exposing the corruptions of Cawley's work and the further scandals surrounding Barbara Byrd Bennett. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Even a cursory review of the 275-page agenda made public prior to the May 27, 2015 shows that the Board members intend to continue their agenda of privatization, charterization, and attacking the city's real public schools and the Chicago Teachers Union. One irony of the agenda is that it comes on the second anniversary of the vote by the same Board members to close an unprecedented number of the city's real public schools. At the time of the May 22, 2013 vote against the city's public schools (which closed 49 schools immediately and one the following year), seven aldermen and dozens of parents and community leaders spoke against the Board actions. The Board voted to close the schools without even reading the names of the schools that were targeted, and the Board President ordered CPS security to drag away from the podium a parent, Erika Clark of Parents4Teachers, who was trying to read the complete list.

Additionally, the corruption and incompetence of the current CPS administrative staff is exemplified by "Chief Administrative Officer" Tim Cawley. Cawley, who has no education experience or credentials in teacher of local school administration, is responsible for the disastrous re-privatization of CPS custodial work. In early 2014, Cawley assured the Board that the awarding of two massive custodial contracts to Aramark and Sodexo-MAGIC would improve school cleanliness and save money. Cawley's Power Point and narrative on that subject, still preserved on the CPS website, could stand as a monument to the failures of the Board were their results not so serious, and were the ongoing conditions of filth in the schools not so odious.

And yet the six members of the Board of Education who created these conditions will sit before the public on May 27, 2015, and then rubber stamp the agenda that will be presented to them. Highlights (or lowlights) of that agenda include the following:

-- More than 20 "Board Reports" (a "Board Report" is an agenda item which, when approved, results in an action, large or small, of the nation's third largest school system) expand or continue the city's charter schools explosion, despite the fact that it has now been proved that the Chicago charter schools have not improved education for the city's children and, in many cases, are so riddled with corruptions large and small so as to be a scandal that as yet has not been fully exposed.

-- Additional Board Reports will continue the costly corporate "turnaround" activities of the controversial Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). One additional factor in the AUSL scandal is that Board President David Vitale and CAO Tim Cawley were both on the AUSL staff or Board prior to their activities to expand AUSL control of Chicago schools.

-- Additional actions being asked of the Board on the public agenda will further expand the ruthless and often silly privatization of services which are supposed to be done by full-time workers employed by CPS.


May 31, 2015 at 3:29 PM

By: Sammy Hill

Tim Cawley's incompetence

Tim Cawley has to be one of the most incompetent financial guys the CPS ever had in place. When is he leaving? I'm sure he still lives out of town and bends the residency rule. That's enough reason to kick him out. He was touted by Rahm and others as something special, but has only shown he is incompetent and in way over his head. Will someone please get this man out of charge of explaining the money situation. Typical in CPS that most department heads who were knowledgeable teachers who worked to become administrators are gone. People like him were given spots throughout the administration. That's the problem in most departments within CPS.

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