Sunday, January 12, 2014

Some Pretty Important Meetings Coming Up

The Charter Funding Task Force has a meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon. It runs from 1-5 PM,  a Wagnerian length, and it needs the eyes an ears of the public on it. I hope some of you can go and report back.

Some members of this task force might want to make a little cameo at either of the two forums that are happening in the coming weeks. January 14 in Chicago; January 23 in Batavia. I know it's not as glamorous or compelling as a room half-filled with bused-in confused fake protestors, but these two forums will be crowded with actual voters who are kind of sick of the reckless dismantling of public education.

I haven't seen any reports on what happened at the Orwellian state charter commission meeting on the 12th, but this was their agenda (the public one, not the hidden one).  They're meeting again at the Concept charter school on West Belmont on the 21st. By the way, I've been looking at a spreadsheet of all the H-1B visa requests that Concept and its archipelago of charter schools have filed for individuals residing in Turkey over time. It's interesting work. Did you know that you have to go overseas for accountants? What is it that accountants do again?

  Anyway, lots of states have these appointed charter-czar commissions because of its popularity with ALEC. As I mentioned earlier, the task force that studied the "need" for Illinois' own state charter commission got started in a bill sponsored by Susana Mendoza, who as a legislator accepted travel gifts from local Gulenist organizations and later sponsored HR 0173, which praised Gulen and the Gulen Movement, which is weird because I heard the Movement doesn't even exist. She also co-sponsored the charter-cap removal and most recent voucher bill. The state charter commission is probably the most egregious public panel because it can overrule locally elected school boards. We may as well give up on democracy if this sort of panel continues to be countenanced by the Legislature.

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