The June 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.

Chicago Teachers Union and allied groups march downtown, then rally at City Hall after being locked out of Bruce Rauner's State of Illinois building... 'Day of actions' demands local revenue as well as 'Springfield solutions'...

Hundreds of teachers, students, parents, and community leaders converged on Chicago's City Hall on June 22, 2016, in the latest in a series of protests demanding that Chicago fully fund its public schools. The actions . . .


Chicago City Council Progressive Caucus to hold bash celebrating years of growth and growing success...

For some it may be hard to believe that a few years ago, "progressive" in terms of a Chicago alderman in City Council was Joe Moore, the faux-progressive who deliberately misled fellow aldermen to stop . . .


Scab 'chess coach' expelled from Chicago Teachers Union despite publicity from Chicago's corporate media -- and possible support from Obama...

Question: How many teachers, coaches, and sponsors of extra curricular activities in Chicago's more than 500 public schools honored picket lines and participated in the April 1, 2016 one-day strike and day of action? Answer: . . .


'Broke on Purpose or Flat contract on purpose...'? Part One... Maybe that should be the theme of the Chicago Teachers Union's June 22 theatricals... A factual study of CPS finances resumes on June 23 beginning at four in the afternoon...

Once again, this time without calling it a "strike," the leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union are preparing another spectacle, a kind of theatrical event. A few weeks earlier, once again, the president of the . . .


AFT delegates face serious challenges, as 'New Democrats' continue their thrusts behind Hillary Clinton, while Bernie Sanders continues to demand a truly new party of the people...

Despite the triumphalist claims by supporters of Hillary Clinton that the results of the Democratic Party primaries and the upcoming Democratic Convention are decided, every teacher (including this reporter) who will be a delegate to . . .


Dixie Chicks are back and still not ready to make nice while 'taking the long way...'... Remembering the hypocrisy of the Republicans and their minions from 2003 through today...

For my own sons, and hopefully for many others, it's now a "teachable moment." Go back to 2003, when reactionaries were more powerful, and now update to 2016, using country music as part of the . . .


Swaps to cost Illinois another huge amount...

The cost of so-called "toxic swaps" continues to hurt both Chicago and Illinois, while the growing grassroots movement to end the damage caused by the swaps (actually, variable interest rate bond) to Chicago and Illinois. . . .


Lead update... Protocols for checking on lead poisoning in water... CPS was supposed to be doing certain checks, especially for older schools many of which had lead pipes...

As the news of widespread lead testing manipulation becomes more evident across the country -- and here in Chicago -- Substance News has obtained the "Potable Water Sampling Protocol for Lead Concentration dated April 15, . . .


Lead poisoning... Class Action Lawsuit... Philadelphia Lead Pipe Water Contamination and Cover-up...

A new class action lawsuit was filed against the city of Philadelphia regarding lead poisoned drinking water on June 2, 2016. Philadelphia residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia, claiming that . . .


Trump University a familiar scam in the era of private for-profit 'higher education'... 'Sadly, predatory for-profit education is a scam that works so well that Donald Trump is far from the only celebrity, or politician, to invest in it...'

[Editor's Note: The following article came to us via Truthout on June 4, 2016. Its provenance is explained at the bottom of the article. It has also been published on Huffington Post. George N. Schmidt, . . .


Another Flint, this time brought to you by Chicago's City Hall and Chicago Public Schools?... CPS pays $34 Million for 'Safety Consultants' -- but no lead testing before May 2016...

How big is the "Flint" in Chicago Public Schools? And how long will it be before city and CPS officials make public the complete results of lead testing in the city's massive public school system? . . .


UNION NEWS: Will CTU leaders really be 'transparent' at the union's monthly House of Delegates meeting... In addition to the CTU budget, members have been waiting more than a year for all the details on PAC and 'Foundation' spending...

As more and more delegates and members of the Chicago Teachers Union ask how the union is spending their dues money, which has now reached more than $1,100 per year for teacher members (and the . . .


New York union president hit for lying about Opt Out on eve of the American Federation of Teachers 100th anniversary convention... '...In addition to providing your members with false information, you have demonized the brave and outspoken NYC educators who have encouraged opt out...'

Few issues have been more important to building the strength of the movement against the privatization of America's public schools during the last several years than "Opt Out" -- the movement of parents, children and . . .


Chicago's millionaire mayor is no friend of Chicago's real neighborhood parks... Emanuel whimpering against Friends of the Parks is just another example of how out of touch Rahm is...

Before anyone add to the berating of "Friends of the Park" being orchestrated by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his propaganda team (which includes a number of local corporate media reporters) answer the following question: . . .


Chicago teachers continue participation in Pride Parade on June 26... President Barack Obama proclaims Stonewall a historic site... The 2016 Pride Parade as history and as current events...

The Chicago Teachers Union will again be a major part of the groups participating in the Pride Parade on June 26, 2016. The Chicago Teachers Union will join the 47th Annual Chicago Pride Parade on . . .


BOARDWATCH... June 22, 2016 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education...

Sixty persons are allowed to sign up to speak during public participation at any regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Board of Education (BOE) at Chicago Public School (CPS) headquarters at 42 West Madison Street. . . .


New ‘Southeast Area’ school will end years of overcrowding at Gallistel – but parents and teachers still feel disrespected as CPS hiring for the new school seems to be excluding teachers from the former schools...

Constructing a new public school to relieve overcrowding in two neighborhood schools should be good news in this time of budget austerity –- but parents who had lobbied for years to get the new school . . .


CAN TV organizing facing 'union avoidance' planning from management and intimidation against workers who are leading the union...

Although NABET-CWA Local 41 won a union election last fall for workers at CAN TV (Chicago's public access TV center), management has been standing in the way of a contract. On June 15, 2016 the . . .


Top CPS officials trying to use principal resignations to spin latest attack on Chicago teacher pensions... 'Our principals and teachers are leaving for jobs where their district doesn't have to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of the classroom to fund their pensions...' Jackson claimed...

The "Chief Education Officer" of the nation's third largest school system continues trying to use the school system's financial problems to attack the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund and the city's more than 25,000 retired teachers . . .


Labor Beat on transgender rights in Chicago...

Protecting Transgender Fundamental Rights is a new Labor Beat video now available On YouTube at: https://youtu.be/9ULoc65aEZY. The video shows the June 3, 2016 demonstration at the Target store in Uptown supporting the chain's pro-equality policies . . .


Thirty percent of Chicago schools tested have lead in the school drinking water...

In an ever worsening crises in the Chicago Public Schools, the nation's third largest public school district now says that 23 of the 78 schools tested - 30% -- had lead levels above Federal EPA . . .


Chicago aldermen demand hearings on lead contamination in schools... '...Lead shouldn’t be in our vocabulary in this day and age. We know how to get rid of it, we know how to test for it and we know how to keep our kids safe from it...'

As a result of the growing concern for the safety of children and staff in Chicago Public Schools, Alderman Chris Taliaferro of the 29th Ward and fellow members of the Chicago City Council Progressive Reform . . .


'Atlas Shrugged' free books and essay contest, plus other inducements, still used to lure schools into the Ayn Rand web especially when teachers can't get real books for the kids in austerity-plagued public school districts...

Among the other complaints voiced by protesting Chicago high school students in June 2016 was about books: A Curie High School student told the crowd locked out outside the Thompson Center on June 9 that . . .


Ten Chicago aldermen and a state rep attend CTU’s 'State of CPS Summit' on June 11, 2016... The 'Summit' continued the union's elaboration of strategy and tactics from CTU and its allies as the June stalemates for school funding continue in Chicago and Springfield...

The Chicago Teachers Union, in conjunction with community partners of the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), held a “State of CPS Summit” on June 11, 2016, to push a program of city and state funding for . . .


Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner, both billionaires, both philosophical soul brothers... Rauner's hypocrisy exposed when reporters ask him what 'crumbling prison' Chicago schools he had visited -- the answer: Two...

While Donald Trump's racist hypocrisy has dominated the national discussion about the state of the Republican Party, Illinois has been getting a dose of the same level of racism, ideological monstrosity, and hypocrisy through the . . .


At least a dozen schools now have found lead problems... Reilly Elementaty School being 're-examined' while top CPS officials evade reporters... CPS continues lead testing while giving another example of governance by consultants and e-mailed press statements...

Rather than working with the Chicago Teachers Union, school engineers and nurses who are experts on such subjects, or staff in schools, Chicago Public Schools is managing the third largest school district in the United . . .


Let's take a field trip?... Best field trip ever!...

While there may be some actual classroom teachers in Chicago who are ending the 2015 - 2016 school year with a smile, most of us have been stressed out more than ever before. No union . . .


Questions about lead to ask at your child's school...

What questions about lead should you ask your child's school? As more and more people in Chicago learn that the Chicago Board of Education has sabotaged lead testing and the children's health through massive privatization . . .


Continued push for 'financial transaction tax'... with hearing having been held in Springfield and scheduled for June 7 in Chicago!

While the news reports once again told the Chicago Teachers Union's 28,000 members and the public that CTU President Karen Lewis was again preparing to accept a losing contract with the Chicago Board of Education, . . .


Lead in Chicago water, especially schools?... Guardian newspaper investigation notes that Chicago is among 33 cities that manipulated lead tests in water supply...

An exclusive investigation by the Guardian newspaper shows that "massive manipulation" of testing methods of public water supply for lead has found that in 33 cities across 17 states. All of the cities cited have . . .


Sheet metal workers reject contract, begin strike in Cook and Lake counties...

Chicago sheet metal workers have rejected an inadequate contract proposal and gone on strike beginning May 31, 2016 in Cook County and Lake County Illinois. Chicago Teachers Union officials and rank and file members are . . .


BOARDWATCH: May 25, 2016 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education reveals that Claypool, Clark & Co. are speeding up their plans of massive privatization, destruction of Chicago's real public schools, and union busting...

Anyone who believed that the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel had been changed since the revelations shown by the video of the police killing of Laquan MacDonald needed to spend a few hours on May . . .


Hawaii teachers freed from the reign of tests... partly...

While Chicago teaches and children face another round of so-called "standardized" tests in April, May and June 2016, the push back against those tests has been growing across the USA. Take the example of Hawaii, . . .


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)