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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:22pm
Wed Feb 19, 2014

New Report Sheds Light On America's Top Paid 'Government Workers'

Contrary to what some may believe, America's top paid government workers are not public employees, argues a new report from the progressive watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).

"America's highest paid government workers are not your local teachers, social workers or corrections officers," said CMD's Executive Director Lisa Graves. "Rather, America's highest paid government workers are the corporate executives who profit from reckless privatization deals across the country."

In the “Exposed: America’s Highest Paid Government Workers” report, CMD identifies six CEOs who "worked hard to privatize public services and who use taxpayer dollars to enrich themselves with outlandish salaries and benefits."

After reviewing shareholder lawsuits, criminal investigations, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sanctions and court settlements, CMD found that the six CEOs highlighted in the report collectively raked in more than $100 million in compensation largely funded by taxpayers over the past several years. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:37pm
Mon Jan 27, 2014

Action Now Protests Against 'By The Hand Club' Over Plans For New Austin Charter School

About 20 Action Now members and education organizers protested outside the By The Hand Club For Kids' location on the West Side last week to push back against the non-profit's involvement with plans for a new charter school in Chicago's Austin neighborhood. 

The charter school operator Chicago Education Partnership (CEP) won conditional approval by the city's board of education to open a new Austin elementary campus in 2015. The effort to open the new charter is a partnership between CEP and By The Hand, which operates a "Christ-centered" after school program in Austin at 415 N. Laramie Ave.

CEP's design team includes By The Hand leaders, explained Dwayne Truss, an Austin resident with the Raise Your Hand education coalition. And By The Hand's Executive Director Donnita Travis is CEP's board chairperson.

"She's leading both of the organizations," said Action Now spokeswoman Aileen Kelleher. "I would say there's a conflict of interest there."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:07pm
Wed Jan 22, 2014

Chicago Board Of Ed OK's New Charters; Might Join Forces With CTU Against IL Charter Commission

At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education approved seven new charter schools scheduled to open over the next two years. Also on Wednesday, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale said they might "join hands" to push back against the Illinois State Charter School Commission.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:24pm
Fri Jan 17, 2014

Chicagoans Speak Out Against Charter School Expansion At Community Forum

   If the Chicago Board of Education allows 21 new charter campuses to open on the Northwest and Southwest Sides, neighborhood schools in the targeted areas and the district as a whole would be negatively impacted, education activists stressed at a community forum in Brighton Park Tuesday night.

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