Controversial operator facing forensic audit... UNO Charter Schools served with petitions demanding that UNO pay its teachers' pension costs

Flanked by two colleagues, CTU member and Whitney Young teacher Jay Rehak delivered a petition signed by 3550 taxpayers demanding that the UNO Charter School system submit to a forensic audit to account for the more than $100 million dollars that organization has received in taxpayer money. Rehak, flanked by CTU delegate Ed Dziedzic and Oscar Varnadoe, a member of SEIU, delivered the petition on November 4, 2013, to the UNO offices at 954 West Washington.

Whitney Young teacher and CTU delegate Jay Rehak (above right) asked to meet with Juan Rangal, the quarter million dollar a year chief of UNO, to give Rangal petitions on November 4. Rangal was "out of the building."Rehak visited the UNO offices after school on November 4th and began by asking to speak with Mr. Juan Rangel, the UNO Charter School director who currently pays himself more than a quarter of a million dollars a year to direct the UNO Charter Schools. UNO representatives asked Rehak if he had an appointment with Mr. Rangel; when told that although he didm't have an appointment but that Mr. Rangel was expecting him, the UNO representatives began by saying that Mr. Rangel would be notified.

After a few moments, the UNO representatives returned and indicated that Mr. Rangel had temporarily left the building.

At that point, Rehak, his petition in hand, indicated to the UNO representative that a forensic audit of the charter school was in order. Rehak noted that as a taxpayer, he felt it his civic duty to demand a full accounting of the more than $100 million dollars that UNO had received from public coffers via the Chicago Public School system.

Rehak later indicated that he had requested a full accounting of the UNO charter school expenditures of public money to the Chicago Board of Education via the CPS School Board.

Noting that it was his right as a taxpayer to insist on such a full audit of the UNO charter schools, Rehak said, "It's about transparency. $100 million dollars in public money is significant. If Mr. Rangel won't voluntarily submit to a forensic audit, I am hopeful that Mayor Emanuel, Governor Quinn, or Attorney General Madigan will insist on it. Anything short of a full accounting of those public tax dollars is unacceptable."

Before leaving the UNO offices, Mr. Rehak asked that Mr, Rangel call him within a week to indicate whether or not UNO will submit to a forensic audit. Resolute, Rehak indicated, "If UNO won't do the right thing by voluntarily submitting to a forensic audit, the next step should be government action. We will continue our fight for transparency. It is, at a minimum, what any business entity that receives government money should be compelled to provide."

Afterwards, Rehak said he was hopeful that Mr. Rangel would submit to the forensic audit and would recognize that from the public's point of view, transparency would be the in the long term best interest of that troubled organization.


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