BOARDWATCH: Chicago Board of Education to meet Wednesday, June 27, continuing to violate the law and common decency

The Chicago Board of Education (I like instead Board of Plutocracy and Privatization, but maybe that's just me) meets this Wednesday (June 27, 2012) and its complete agenda should be out by noon tomorrow (Monday, June 25, 2012). As usual, some people might want to review the public agenda with an eye towards the latest huge no-bid contracts and other scams that continue relentlessly from the top of CPS. The usual published agenda is about 200 pages, and worth the read for anyone who wants to know what this "Board" is really up to.

But beware. Much of the most expensive and important policy and personnel stuff is kept off the public agenda. Every bureaucratic hiring since Rahm Emanuel took over 13 months ago has been hidden from public view as a "personnel matter" until after the meeting (when it comes out quietly in the "Action" agenda, available on line a week or more later). But most of the major personnel actions of the past year have been illegally kept off all public agendas. Until this Board took power, every major appointment to administrative (and other bureaucratic) positions (roughly, those paying high five figure and six figure salaries) was reported in a Board Report (albeit in the "Action" agenda). Since Rahm became chieftain of all things Chicago and put his underlings like Jean-Claude Brizard in charge, the Board has been routinely violating this rule. And of course the Law Department looks the other way, while the Inspector General is out chasing teachers who don't live in Chicago instead of crooked incompetents from the Broad Foundation who shouldn't be allowed near a public school system. C'est la guerre.

Among the representatives of the plutocracy on the seven-member Chicago Board of Education appointed by multi-millionaire Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are millionaire David Vitale (above left) President of the Board, and billionaire Penny Pritzker, a member of the Board. Both have forced the current confrontation with Chicago's teachers and parents by following the ruthless privatization programs of public schools and the mayor's attacks on teachers during their first year in office. Substance photo during the April 23, 2012 meeting of the Board by George N. Schmidt.One last thing: Has everyone noticed that once again, despite all those "transparency" promises, CPS has again violated the law and refused to hold its budget hearings prior to the end of the fiscal year. For all that prattle from the Brizards about "transparency," the opposite again is true. CPS officials, including Tim Cawley, promised the Proposed Budget for the 2012 - 2013 school year would be out in June for hearings before the fiscal year ends on June 30. It's not. Once again, the Board will allow its administration to obfuscate the budget and hide things until as late as possible. If last year is any indication, at that point nobody will be able to get a copy of the "Proposed Budget" in print, it will be impossible to download the thing, and my brothers and sisters in the reportorial business, addled and confused as usual by any number bigger than their monthly paychecks, will give Brizard and the Board members a Get Out of Jail Free card rather than bother to read the budget.


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