Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shining a new light on Daley's After School Matters

It looks like they're finally going after Daley's cash-cow after-school program which was used as back entrance to the old City Hall patronage system. According to this morning's Sun-Times:
After School Matters, the charity founded by Chicago’s former first lady Maggie Daley to occupy and educate teenagers, received $915,000 in contributions over a ten-year period from companies that got subsidies from the city, the city’s inspector general concluded Tuesday. (Read the report here.)  
I don't know why this story is just breaking. Back in 2006, I blogged about Gov. Blago's funneling of state education funds to politically-favored programs, like the dollar-bloated after-school program/political patronage bucket run by Maggie Daley. For example, just about any trucking company that wanted city business had to write a check to ASM. While it funded some worthwhile programs in the schools, it was also a clever way around the Shakman Decree which supposedly banned pay-for play. 

Interestingly, among those serving on the board of ASM were current mayor, Rahm Emanuel and his wife, Amy Rule  (oops, sorry Rahm. I forgot, weren't supposed to mention family members).

I suppose this is the price we pay for mayoral control of our schools. When public education becomes an appendage of City Hall, schools and their programs become part and parcel of Chicago machine politics and the mayor's patronage system. It goes with the territory.

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