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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:32pm
Mon Jul 7, 2014

Sheila Simon Calls On Rauner To Release 2013 Tax Information

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon urged Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner to release his complete 2013 income tax records during a press conference Monday morning.

“Today I am calling on candidate Bruce Rauner to make full disclosure of all the schedules that go with his taxes and his 2013 tax returns,” Simon said in Chicago’s Grant Park. “Being engaged in public politics and governance requires a sacrifice of some privacy, but it’s a small sacrifice, and it’s worth it because transparency builds trust. This is not a ‘gotcha.’ This is governing. Let’s do it right.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:05pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Education Groups Demand Investigation Into Chicago Board Of Ed’s Ties To AUSL (VIDEO)

Chicago education activists and grassroots organizations have taken their fight against recently-approved public school turnarounds to the inspectors general of the school district and the U.S. Department of Education.

On April 30, the Chicago Citizens United to Preserve Public Education coalition filed complaints with the two inspector general offices, requesting an investigation into possible conflicts of interest surrounding the Chicago Board of Education’s decision last month to hand three academically struggling schools over to the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a controversial school turnaround contractor. 

In its complaints, the coalition specifically cites Board of Education President David Vitale and board member Carlos Azcoitia as having potential conflicts due to their ties to AUSL. The education coalition, which believes the three recent school turnarounds are invalid due to the alleged conflicts, also notes that Tim Cawley, CPS’ Chief Administrative Officer, is the former managing director of AUSL and “is in a position to approve CPS contracts, including the AUSL contracts.”

“There seems to be a swinging door relationship between CPS and AUSL,” said Valerie Leonard with Chicago Citizens United to Preserve Public Education, which includes groups such as Blocks Together, the Lawndale Alliance, Teachers for Social Justice and other members.

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