CTU exposes corruption of Illinois Charter Schools Commission in follow up to Sun-Times exposé of Michael Madigan's ties to Turkish cult, charter schools

Following the exclusive Chicago Sun-Times exposé of the corruption of the Illinois Charter Schools Commission and the unprofessional influence of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in the expansion of Chicago charter schools, the Chicago Teachers Union on December 23, 2013 issued the following press statement:


The Chicago Teachers Union is greatly alarmed by new revelations of a second major scandal involving a charter school operator this year. The Chicago Sun-Times exposé detailing the practices of the clout heavy Concept Charter School Network comes as the organization is poised to receive even more of our scarce public education resources.

The Board of Education will vote at its January 22 meeting on whether to open two additional Concept schools and also to fund many other new charter schools managed by operators like Concept. Appallingly, this accelerated charter school push comes less than a year after a record number of Chicago neighborhood school closings and massive budget cuts that took critical resources, staff and programs for students from hundreds of neighborhood schools in the black and Latino community. The Board of Education must protect our educational resources and vote no on these proposals.

Last year, CPS rejected Concept's proposals to open two schools in Chicago due to poor performance at its flagship school in Rogers Park. Concept successfully appealed to the Illinois State Charter Commission which overturned the decision. The facts that the commission is dominated by politically connected charter promoters and it is largely funded by charter advocates are glaring conflicts of interests that cannot be ignored.

We hope that Governor Pat Quinn, who rightly froze state funding for UNO after corruption was uncovered in that charter network, will quickly act to do the same at Concept. Action is needed to protect our taxpayers, students, and schools from this egregious betrayal of the public trust. School districts and administrators across Illinois support legislation sponsored by Sen. Linda Chapa LaVia to abolish the Commission. Governor Quinn, who appoints the members of the Illinois State Charter Commission, must now push to dismantle this biased and ineffective body. Its ability to undermine local control of school districts to the financial benefit of unaccountable charter operators must end.


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