Controversial 'Chicago Teachers Union Foundation' giving millions of dollars to friendly community organizations and individuals with no oversight by the CTU House of Delegates or membership...

While a major debate will be taking place within the ranks of the 25,000-member Chicago Teachers Union between now and the end of January as to whether the union should make unprecedented changes in its basic governance -- the CTU Constitution and By-Laws -- it could easily be said that the deal has already been done. For the past two years, the "CTU Foundation" has not only taken over many of the operations of the union, but has also begun distributing millions of dollars to friendly groups and individuals -- without any of the so-called "tansparency" that brought the current union leadership into power in July 2010.

Officers of the Chicago Teachers Union are (left to right, foreground) Michael Brunson (Recording Secretary), Maria Moreno (Financial Secretary), Karen Lewis (President), and Jesse Sharkey (Vice President). The four are also the officers of the "CTU Foundation."The money spent by the CTU Foundation is not revealed in any union publication or on the CTU website (, but has to be looked up in federal reports required from such entities. Many of the major donations from the Foundation since first donations were made in 2014 have gone to what might be called "social justice" organizations, although the term "social justice" has not been defined in the current context. For example, more than $200,000 has so far been given to the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), with lesser amounts going to a number of Chicago-based community groups that often show public support for the positions of the CTU. Large amounts have also been donated to national organizations like the "Network for Public Education."

Under federal law, non-profits foundations are supposed to report their complete givings every year on a "Form 990," which is supposed to be available to the public. Hence, even though the CTU members are not being told how the money generated by the sale of Fewkes Tower is being spent, those who can delve into the federal forms can get the information. The CTU officers have not explained why these decisions are being made by them without consulting or informing the union's members. This comes seven years after the current officers were elected on a platform of "democracy" and "transparency" and took office in July 2010.

To date, the Foundation has filed the 990 reports for 2013, 2014, 2015. No report is yet available for 2016, despite the fact that it was due several months ago.

Foundation grants have gone to a variety of organizations, mostly local ones, including a church on the South Side. Some have gone to national organizations as well. The officers of the CTU have never informed the members of the union or the members of the House of Delegates (of which this reporter is one, representing retire teachers who are CTU members) about these enormous and unprecedented givings. The CTU Foundation also owns the new CTU office building at 1901 W. Carroll St. in Chicago. The offices of the union are rented from the Foundation.

One of the largest beneficiaries of the Foundation's charity has been the "Network for Public Education," which had received a total of $340,000 from the Foundation from 2013 through 2015, according to the 990 report. Chicago's Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) received $195,000 during the period covered so far. Additional grants will be reported during the next two days HERE...


December 23, 2017 at 8:13 PM

By: Susan Hickey, LCSW

CTU Foundation don't help distaster victims

I thought I would ask CTU to help Saint Croix (US Virgin Islands) by donating books- used or new. I contacted Carol Caref who is the CTU Liaison of the Librarian Committee. I was mistaken as she deflected me to the CTU Foundation for assistance. I was told they have spent all their money as will not help. You would think that a TEACHERS union would want to help other schools to replace their libraries as Hurricane Maria totally destroyed them.

Shame on CTU Foundation!

December 30, 2017 at 1:39 AM

By: Theresa D. Daniels

Network for Public Education???

What is the Network for Public Education and who runs it?

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