Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Join Us At The Charter Commission Tomorrow

Here's the press release for our action tomorrow (Wednesday) at the charter commission meeting.  By the way, here's the commission's agenda, and you can see from it that they're putting in place all the procedures by which they will eventually approve that grifter K12 virtual charter that's attacked the suburbs. 

They're also going to approved the Gulen charter's (Concept) plan to insert its unsupervised self into the 12th ward, thanks to Alderman Cardenas and the City Council. 

And it also looks like they're expanding their paid staff--- they're going to hire a Deputy Director. Basically, it's an unelected commission with the right to nullify taxation with representation, and it's growing, and it will continue to grow until elected school boards are nullified by it. 

It's an affront to democracy, in my opinion. A number of us are going to show up for protests tomorrow; we don't expect the commission to give a damn, but we want to let them know they're not in the shadows any more.  Please come join us tomorrow at 2:30 PM and bring your anger and indignation. 

I mean it--- this is a commission that feels that it knows better than you do, and that in order to impose its agenda, it must nullify your right to vote on matters related to public education. 

Protest Scheduled, 5/15/2013, 2:30 – 5:30 PM, 160 N. LaSalle,

Parents and Community Members Protest the Illinois State Charter
School Commission

Members of several parent and community groups who support
authentic public schools will demonstrate today at the site of the
meeting of the Illinois State Charter School Commission (SCSC),
160 N. LaSalle, 2:30 – 5:30 PM. The SCSC is a special body of the
Illinois Sate Board of Education established by the Illinois Legislature.
Its sole function is to override decisions of local school boards which
have denied charters to companies requesting to establish charter
schools in their communities.

Members from the following organizations will express their
opposition to the existence of, and action taken by, the SCSC:
Rogers Park Neighbors for Public Schools, Parents 4 Teachers,
Northern Illinois Jobs With Justice, Bridgeport Alliance, Progressive
Democrats of Illinois, North Side Action for Justice, and more. They
say that Chicago and other Illinois communities do not need more
charter schools, they need high-quality, well funded, democratically
and transparently run, authentic public schools. RPNPS observes
that it is no coincidence that about 60 Chicago public schools are
slated for school actions, while about 60 new charters have been
authorized. Clearly, they say, public schools are being closed IN
ORDER TO fund charters.

Charter schools are funded by taxpayers, but have little or no
accountability to them. Charters do not outperform public schools,
charters have no mandated parent participation, and the replacement
of public schools with charters has caused community despair and
outrage, according to RPNPS.

The SCSC has so far overridden four local communities to establish
these special charter schools. Such charters have been approved by
SCSC in Richton Park, Grays Lake, and two in Chicago. The

Charter Commission protest, page 2

Commission seems poised to override the decision of 18 local school
districts in Chicago suburbs. These districts have refused to grant
charters to the Illinois Virtual Charter School @ Fox River Valley.
This school would be a subsidiary of K-12, a virtual company
purporting to offer education on line. K-12 has been the target of
extensive criticism nationally for 1) the poor quality of the education
offered, 2) fleecing taxpayer dollars, to the tune of several hundred
millions of dollars per year.

The SCSC has already granted charters to two new Concept
Schools, to be located in Chicago. Concept runs one school already
in Chicago, the Chicago Math and Science Academy. Concept was
turned down for the new charters by Chicago Public Schools in April
of this year.

Concept’s parent schools in Ohio were investigated by the Ohio
Attorney General and the federal Government for questionable
practices in 2010. Its contracting practices in Texas have also been
questioned, in a situation very similar to that of UNO schools in
Chicago. UNO has come under the scrutiny of the Illinois legislature
for cronyism in spending money granted to it by the legislature.

When the SCSC grants a charter to an entity, they fund the school at
local rates, then subtract that amount from the local school district’s
funds. The charter school thus approved becomes its own mini-
school district (called an LEA). Supposedly, these schools are
accountable to the SCSC. However, the SCSC has not shown proof
of rigorous examination of these schools’ curricula, administrative
practices, etc.

The SCSC is staffed entirely by charter industry insiders and
individuals who have profited from the existence of charter schools.

No comments:

Post a Comment