BOARDWATCH: Board members claim that privatization contract is not depriving children of school nurses... Waiting until everyone has left the meeting before calling CTU spokesmen liars and claiming that the corporate plan is rated at '100 percent!'...

Chicago Teachers Union researcher Sarah Hainds presented the 33-page CTU report exposing the incompetence and corruption of the Board's privatized nursing services to the Board's February 24, 2016 meeting. At the very end of the meeting, when Hainds and other speakers had left, the Board members comforted themselves by soliciting a report from a new bureaucrat claiming that the privatization plan is rated at "100 percent"! Substance photo by David Vance.The Chicago Board of Education members waited until almost everyone had left the Board meeting of February 24, 2016 before calling Chicago Teachers Union researchers and members liars following the description of the growing crisis in school health services. Earlier in the meeting, CTU researchers Sarah Hainds had presented the Board with a 33-page report charging that CPS had privatized nursing services to the detriment of children's health. Hainds and others provided the Board meeting with examples of how the privatization situation has undermined children's health.

Following their presentations, the CTU people left.

School nurse Joan Lipschutz presented case studies of the corruption and danger of the Board's privatization of nursing services. The Board members waited until Lipschutz and others had left before calling on a newly minted CPS bureaucrat to claim that the corporate contract was being rated at "100 percent"! Substance photo by David Vance.But at the end of the meeting, the Board members made certain that their side of the story was told -- and that basically the Board's position is that the CTU is lying. After public participation had ended, Board President Frank Clark asked the Board members whether they had any questions. Board member Mahilia Hines, who has been providing this service to the Board's talking points for five years, asked whether there was any truth to the claims that children were facing health problems because of the Board's privatized contract.

As of on cue, one of the Board's newest executives took the floor and told the Board that the privatization corporation had received a "100 percent" evaluation for its services during the first year of the four-year $30 million contract.

Sarah Hainds and others were gone by the time the claim was made in public. Although Board President Frank Clark didn't use the words of his predecessor David Vitale -- Vitale used to claim that the Board knew the "true facts" and that the presentations earlier did not have the so-called "true facts" -- the impact was the same. Clark and his fellow Board members were assured, and had assured themselves, that the crisis in health services detailed earlier was not a "true fact" after all.

Kathleen Foley of the Board's Office of Special Education Support Services (OODLSS) was called upon at the end of the meeting to tell the Board that the privatized nursing contract was scoring "100 percent" according to the way the Board is scoring such things. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Once again, Mahalia Hines was following the careful scripting that has characterized the Board meetings since Rahm Emanuel reorganized the Board in May 2011.


February 25, 2016 at 8:10 AM

By: Jean Schwab

Where are the nurses?

There used to be a nurse at Moos several days a week(the same nurse.)She used to take care of scratches and everything. It was not unusual to get a call from her. Now it is uncertain if there truly is a nurse there and when there is, it is a different person every time. I'm lucky that my grandchildren don't have a serious problem.

February 25, 2016 at 3:01 PM

By: Susan Hickey, LCSW

My two minutes at Board on RCM nursing

I am putting in this comment my synopsis of the two minute statement I made at the 2/24 Board meeting:

'Good afternoon. I am Susan Hickey, a retired CPS social worker and I work part-time at CTU dealing with clinicians issues.I was involved with the nurse report that you received from us. Duri9ng the discussions with school nurses, I was able to get two parents willing to have me tell their story of their experience with RCM nurses There was a 5 year old child at Disney who is a Type 1 diabetic. In her IEP she receives full time nursing services who help monitor her condition. The child did not want to come to school because she was afraid of the RCM nurse. The nurse would also not comply with the doctor and parent's lunch and breakfast menu. The nurse took off one day without notifying anyone at the school, leaving the child without the medical support. Parent requested to have her replaced. She contacted the case manager, principal and finally the RCM supervisor. The RCM supervisor told the parent that there was no one to replace her and that the child needs to get over it. I intervened and spoke with someone at ODLSS and the nurse was replaced last week. The child had to endure that first nurse from September to mid-February. The other parent had a 7 year old nonverbal. wheelchair bound student at Christopher. The child had transportation on his IEP with a nurse aid to be on the bus with him. They did not have a nurse until mid-September. The school called that they got a RCM nurse and the boy was transported to school. At the end of the day, he was left in the school office and the nurse left. The boy was there for azn hour and a half before, the school contacted the parent who came to the school to take him home. The mother had the IEP changed so that she would take him to school. This is unfortunate as he is entitled to the service!

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