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CTU Foundation made nearly $2 million in grants and donations to community groups and charitable organizations without clear and precise reporting of the decisions to the union's school delegates and the CTU members...

Back in 2011, when Action Now and the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) organized the protest above with the Chicago Teachers Union at the old Board of Education headquarters at 125 S. Clark St., the groups were all independent of one another. Since 2014, the CTU Foundation has been subsidizing KOCO and Action Now, along with many other groups. In fiscal 2014, KOCO received $60,000 from the CTU Foundation and Action Now received $35,000. Substance photo.During the first fiscal year after it received more than $45 million in revenue from the sale of the Fewkes Tower by the Chicago Teachers Union, the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, a separate entity, made nearly $2 million in legal charitable contributions. Those took place during 2014. Most of those dollars went to community organizations which had previously been allied with the CTU without direct subsidies.

The donations ranged in size from a low of $10,000 (to Veterans for Peace) to a high of $200,000 (to the Crossroads Fund of Chicago) and $250,000 (to a thing called the "Children and Teachers Foundation of the CTU").

Most of the 2014 grants were for $35,000. They went to community organizations across the city that had previously been active in support of the union's activities and the Chicago Teachers Strike of 2012. The "990" for the Foundation's fiscal year 2015 is not yet available.

The information reported here comes from the public release of "990" form by the CTU Foundation for its fiscal year 2014.

Donations from the CTU Foundation during 2014 fiscal year totaled $1,933,500, virtually none of which was discussed with the union's dues-paying members or reported to the union's school delegates at the monthly meetings of the union's House of Delegates.

As reported earlier (see my report on November 6, 2016), the four officers of the Chicago Teachers Union are also the four officers of the CTU Foundation. They are all paid a small amount by the Foundation and also have pensions paid by the Foundation in addition to their other benefits.

In addition to its charitable work, the CTU Foundation owns the new building on the West Side that the union will be moving into over the next eight weeks. The CTU will be renting the Chicago Teachers Union's offices from the CTU Foundation. (Disclosure: As a delegate representing retired teachers, I supported the idea of the CTU doing this when it was first raised in the House of Delegates, and have been waiting for much more information -- in vain -- since the initial disclosures at the House of Delegates meetings).

By law, the CTU Foundation is a "501 (c ) (4) corporation. It is required by law to file annual "990" reports with the federal government.

All of the information below in this article is taken directly from the most recent "990," which is for the Foundation's 2014 fiscal year.

According to the "990", the Purpose of the Foundation, which is a 501 ( c) (4) organization under the Internal Revenue Code is as follows (all CAPS in the original)...

THE CHICAGO TEACHERS UNION FOUNDATION, INC ("FOUNDATION") WAS ORGANIZED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL WELFARE PURPOSES WITHIN THE

MEANING OF SECTION 501 (C)(4) OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE THE FOUNDATION'S CIVIC AND CHARITABLE PURPOSES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING SUPPORT

OF PROJECTS, PROGRAMS, COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDE SERVICES TO IMPROVE AND ASSIST

PUBLIC SCHOOLS, TEACHERS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND RETIRED TEACHERS, INCLUDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR ELIGIBLE ELDERLY AND RETIRED

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLTEACHERS (Page Two of the 2014 990)

During the Foundation's fiscal year 2014, "Revenue from sales of assets" was $47,736,077. This came from the sale of Fewkes Tower, which the union had owned. The money then went into the CTU Foundation, which up to that year had less than $2 million in assets.

According to the 2014 990, all of the grants and charitable donations made during that fiscal year are as follows: Grants and assistance total: $1,933,500

Of the money given away by the Foundation in 2014, a mere $12,000 went to scholarships. The rest was awarded as follows (Name of Organization and City indicated; address is in the original document):

Access Living of Chicago… $35,000

First Book, Washington D.C.… $150,000

Crossroad Fund, Chicago… $200,000

ARISE of Chicago…$5,090

Young Chicago Authors, Chicago… $75,000

Action Now Institute, Chicago… $35,000

Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago… $35,000

Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago… $35,000

Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), Chicago, $35,000

The DuSable Museum, Chicago…$100,000

ETA Creative Arts Foundation, Chicago… $50,000

Grow Your Own Teachers, Chicago…$75,000

Art and Soul Foundation, Chicago… $50,000

Mission of Our Lady of Mercy, Chicago… $100,000

Children’s and Teachers Foundation of CTU, Chicago… $250,000

Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Chicago… $35,000

Blocks Together, Chicago… $35,000

Pilsen Alliance, Chicago… $35,000

ENLACE Chicago…$35,000

Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), Chicago…$60,000

Raise Your Hand Illinois, Chicago… $35,000

Southwest Organizing Project, Chicago… $35,000

Dainty Warrior Project, Chicago… $25,000

Kids Enjoy Exercise Now Foundation, Chicago… $25,000

Mary E. Smith Foundation, Matteson, IL… $35,000

Misericordia Homes, Chicago… $100,000

Albany Park Theater Project, Chicago… $35,000

Special Children’s Charities, Chicago… $50,000

University of Illinois Foundation, Chicago… $50,000

Veterans for Peace, Chicago… $10,000

Network for Public Education, Tucson, AZ… $100,000

The donations to these organizations from the Foundation is independent of other donations made from the union's Political Action (PAC) fund, which makes political contributions to candidates for office. The PAC committee of the CTU has not disclosed its activities in full to the union's delegates and members for years. The so-called "PAC-LEG" (Political Action - Legislative) committee of the CTU, which combined the two distinct committees four or five years ago despite the two being separate under the union's constitution and by laws, has not me since January 2016, despite the fact that this is an important election year. The so-called "PAC - LEG" committee held on "emergency" meeting by phone two weeks before the Election Day.



Comments:

November 7, 2016 at 12:25 PM

By: Jean Schwab

Supporting Action Groups

I'm glad the CTU is financially helping these citizen action groups. We are seen,by some, as these rich teachers who have no concern for the people in Chicago's communities and by financially helping, we are contributing to the neighborhoods we serve. I only wish that we were informed and could have a part in the decision making. I do agree with CTU that we can't separate ourselves from the lives of our students and need to do more.

This makes our union much better than the average union.

November 7, 2016 at 12:29 PM

By: Jean Schwab

contributing

As with Substancenews, I would be glad to contribute to any of their groups, if asked. Both Substancenews and these Action Groups are important and necessary!

November 8, 2016 at 8:31 AM

By: Ed Hershey

Agree with Jean

Jean, I agree.

I don't have a problem with providing subsidy to community organizations that work with us.

I do have a problem with the fact that these expenditures, and the mechanics of union's relationships with these groups, are kept obscure from the Delegates.

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