Biggest privatization scam since the Parking Meter Deal looms... Chicago Board of Education to approve $56 million in no-bid 'Early Childhood Education' contracts for what are really baby sitting and day care services

On the agenda for the September 25, 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education is a "Board Report" that will pay a total of more than $56 million for so-called "Early Childhood Education" programs to a group of vendors across Chicago, most of whom will actually be providing day care or babysitting.The Chicago Board of Education, at its September 25, 2012 meeting, expects to approve a $56 million deal to privatize much of the Chicago Public Schools so-called "Early Childhood Education" programs to a large group of patronage outlets (including charter schools) across the city in a massive no-bid deal.

According to a Board Report (Board Report # 12-0925-Ed1, Amend Board Report 12-0627-ED3, Approve Entering into Agreements with Various Providers for High-Quality Early Childhood Services") on the agenda for the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 25, 2012, the Board will pay more than $56 million to a large group of what are called "Early Childhood Education" providers which in fact are mostly storefront operations that at best provide child care and which do not staff their facilities with certified teachers and other staff.

Beth Mascitti-Miller, the latest expensive addition to the Brizard administration's cadre of outsiders who have been brought in to privatize Chicago's schools as quickly as possible. Mascatti-Miller worked under Brizard in Rochester, New York.The no-bid deal is being recommended for action by one of the newest outsiders to be brought into administrative positions at CPS by the current "Chief Executive Officer" Jean-Claude Brizard. Elizabeth (Beth) Mascitti-Miller, who was with Brizard in Rochester, New York, was appointed "Chief Early Childhood Education Officer" by a vote of the Chicago Board of Education at the Board's May 2012 meeting. The appointment took place without discussion or debate. Prior to the appointment of Brizard's former Rochester colleague, the Early Childhood bureau had been a part of the special services department, and Chicago had never seen the need for a separate and special "Early Childhood Officer."

No Board member asked why (a) CPS needed a "Chief Early Childhood Education Officer" and (b) why the only person qualified for the job was an outsider who knew nothing about the complex realities of Chicago's public schools.

The Board Report (May 2012) hiring Beth Mascatti-Miller at an annual salary of $160,000 along with a "sign-in bonus" of $10,000 and a "relocation stipend" of $12,500. The Board Report was approved by a vote of the Board's members without discussion or debate.In addition to voting to pay Mascitti-Miller an annual salary of $160,000, the Board voted to pay her what it called a "sign-in bonus" of $10,000 and "relocation expenses" of $12,500. During the same time, CPS officials claimed that the school system was facing an "unprecedented deficit" that they have stated ranges from $600 million to more than $1 billion. The appointment of Mascitti-Miller is one of dozens of executive appointments quietly voted on by the seven members of the Board during the 18 months since they were put into power by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The Board Report proposing the hiring of the 140 centers listed states in its title that CPS will be providing "high quality" programs, but the majority of the centers listed in the actual report are child care centers, not early childhood education programs. Many of them are storefront day-care centers staffed by low paid workers without any state or local certification, let along training in the complex work of early childhood education.

The majority of professional early childhood education programs in Chicago have been circumvented to create this $56 million outsourcing of actual high quality programs. There is no information in any public CPS documents providing verification that any of the 140 entities listed have been audited or vetted as to the quality of their programs.


September 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM

By: Bob Busch

Scabs on the football field...

Note to Governor Scott Walker:

The events of last night should make you proud. The brave NFL owners are holding the line

against the greedy unionized NFL officials.

How did that play in Green Bay last night?

October 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

By: Janell Simpson

Early Childhood Officer another outsider

There has always been an Early Childhood Education Officer at CPS — at least for the last 20 years. This is not the first one - however you are correct she is not qualified and did the board "really do a Nationwide search" to end up with the #2 from Rochester. CPS serves more preschool children than the entire district of Rochester — so CPS makes yet another unbelievable decision. But they will tell you that Early Childhood is so important — why did the move out the only ECE expert they have ever had in the position to put in another "yes woman" and from Rochester — at that???

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