Sunday, January 5, 2014

What's Happening With The Charter Funding Task Force? UPDATE

Update: Canceled.  Good, because they didn't have an agenda or a venue published, and they still don't.  The rescheduled date is January 13, and it will be somewhere-ish. 

This is a useful page! I see that the rogue, undemocratic, highly sketchy state charter commission is meeting on January 10 at Thompson Center at noon. Can anyone go? This commission needs sunlight and eyeballs. Video cameras, if you have 'em.  It's an appointed board that can overrule elected people all over the state and basically decide how taxpayer money is spent. 

Original Post

Just pointing out that tomorrow is January 6, 2014, and as of this post (1 PM, January 5) there's still no agenda posted for the Charter Funding Task Force meeting, which has been scheduled for months. No agenda, no location.  I check every day.

Maybe it will be virtual. Maybe they'll co-locate the meeting inside a neighborhood school. Who knows? If they have an ounce of sense they'll just cancel it, given the forecast. 

My sense is that this task force is basically a cluster--- and that whatever recommendations it's going to make are already written somewhere, or will be assembled in haste right at the end. It's hard to find out who's on this commission, but here's the best I can do.   Naturally Robin Steans is there, along with Jessica Handy, two of my favorite all-encompassing experts in all things reformy.

Maybe they've filled the vacancies already and simply haven't updated the list, but I find this vacancy to be strange:

      one member representing a currently operating, Commission-approved charter school in this State

After all, they've got the Concept people available. Why don't they appoint someone from Concept? You would think the path would be clear, given that contact person for this commission appears to be Jeanne L. Nowaczeski, whose devotion to critical thinking is occasionally evidenced in the press:

We'll be connecting the dots for her later in January.

In any case, in my own research of charter funding, I came across this letter from the associate superintendent of Woodland School District 50. It's in the public record, and it's a good letter. I have no idea where this district is, and to my knowledge I've never met anyone from there.  If you want to read about how these state commission-approved charter schools are basically just a very, very expensive unfunded mandate, read the letter. In the letter, he argues on behalf of HB 2660, which I have no opinion on yet, but you should read it

If you want to learn more about the impact of charter expansion on local budgets here in Chicago, please come out on January 14 to this forum. 

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