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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How Sen. Steans greased the UNO charter deal

Greg Hinz has a great post on his Crain's blog today. It's all about the $35 million grant given to UNO, operator of a Chicago chain of privately operated charter schools tied into the old Daley political machine and now with connections to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. UNO Board Chairman Juan Rangel  recently served as finance chairman of Emanuel’s mayoral campaign The $35 million is as much as Chicago Public Schools gets for the entire city.

The money came from Springfield, through the back door, as part of an amendment to Sen. Bill 24 introduced by Senator (and billionaire heiress) Heather Steans. She and her sister Robin Steans have been active statewide in promoting privately-run charters, trying to grab the pension fund,  and opposing collective bargaining rights for teachers.

Hinz says Steans "was handling it at the request of somebody upstairs" [read, House Speaker Mike Madigan]. He says he was tipped off to the shady UNO deal by Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE). Good going, Julie W.!

Hinz writes:
 So it goes in our fair capital city. Education money is short, and CPS is talking about shutting schools. But those with friends have their ways. Welcome to the great state of Illinois.
And don't forget the City that Works -- Chicago.

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