Throw Money At It

In another shocking example of the lack of accountability in government, a Chicago Tribune investigation found Chicago Public Schools employees sexually abused hundreds of students over the last ten years. In this week's Two Minute Warning, Pat Hughes warns that just like they do with every problem, politicians will throw money at Chicago Public Schools, but they won’t do anything to fix the real problems.


Chicago Public Schools: The Predators’ Playground

Everything big city Democrat mayors like Rahm Emanuel do is for the kids, they tell us with ersatz earnestness.

Rahm—Tiny Dancer, I call him--is quick to take up cause célèbres like the Parkland high school gun control brigade in the name of school safety.

What Rahm and his leftist colleagues won’t do is change school systems run by the adults for the adults—even when some of those adults are child predators.

In a blockbuster expose, the Chicago Tribune documented a long-running sex abuse scandal inside the Chicago Public Schools that should end Tiny Dancer’s career, that should be international news on par with coverage given the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal, and that should serve as a warning to public school parents across the country.

According to the Tribune, since Tiny Dancer was elected in 2011, 430 reports of sexual abuse, assault or harassment have been investigated with credible evidence of misconduct found in 230 of those incidents.

The Tribune also found that school administrators may have acted criminally in failing to report incidents of abuse to the state’s child welfare agency.

Worse yet, the story identified repeated failures to screen out Chicago Public Schools employees with prior arrests related to alleged sexual offenses involving children.

A lot of attention is devoted to holding pols and their appointees accountable for threats to kids in school that come from the outside.

What about the threats they welcome inside and cover for?


Rahm: Protects Adults, Fails Students

“Laws on the books are not being enforced, people need to be charged.” Is systemic sexual abuse of children enough for Chicagoans to hold their political leadership accountable? Is this another indictment of the CPS system that’s not made for the kids but for the adults? Former General Counsel of DCFS, Liz Yore joins Dan and Amy to discuss the bombshell Chicago Tribune Investigative report.

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Cook County's Property Tax Scam

Cook County property taxpayers have been getting ripped off by Mike Madigan and Joe Berrios for decades, and it's starting to come to light more. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes break down new investigative reports showing how the political class is scamming taxpayers. They also discuss the departure of Forrest Claypool from Chicago Public Schools, and a new Wall Street Journal editorial slamming Illinois for its financial recklessness.








Madigan And Cullerton Manufacture A Crisis

Are House Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton trying to manufacture a crisis by not sending the school funding reform bill to the Governor? When the bill gets to his desk, what will be the result of Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto? What does the hold harmless provision do? Will tax credits be included in the school funding reform bill?  Dan and Amy discussed with State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Champaign).


IL Democrats' $5.4 Billion Tax Hike

Illinois Senate Democrats passed a massive $5.4 billion tax hike with no economic reforms attached. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk about what this would mean for struggling Illinois taxpayers, who are already dealing with among the highest property taxes in the nation. Illinois Policy's Ted Dabrowski and Tax Foundation's Jared Walczak join the discussion.

They also discuss Chicago Public Schools' broken finances and an education funding bill Senate Democrats passed – without knowing what it does.

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A Manufactured Crisis?

CPS is threatening to close schools early because they've run out of money, despite the fact that the district spends 20% more per pupil than the state average. They've filed a lawsuit to get the money they say they need. Can Chicago taxpayers Follow the Logic?

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Juan Williams: Teachers' Unions Are Enemies Of Educating Children

Fox News Political Analyst Juan Williams joined Dan & Amy to discuss Trump's relationship with the DC press corps and the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.

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Young Men Doing Right Wronged By Chicago Violence

Tim King, Founder of Urban Prep Academies in Chicago, joined Dan & Amy to look beyond the crime statistics in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, and to discuss how his academies are educating young black men to be successful in their chosen pursuits. While Urban Prep has a 100% college acceptance rate for their graduates, they are not immune to the violence - two students were shot and killed last month. King tells Proft & Jacobson, “There needs to be a more comprehensive approach. We need a significant and serious investment in schools and public education.” 

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Why Can't Parents At Pritzker Elementary In Chicago Volunteer At The Library? Three Letter Answer: C-T-U

Chicago attorney Michael Hendershot, a parent of a first grader at A.N. Pritzker Elementary, a Chicago Public School, explains what happens when the librarian is laid off in the Chicago-Teachers'-Union-run school system.

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Chicago’s Newest Tax: Soda

On this post-election edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft & Michael Lucci, VP of Policy, Illinois Policy Institute, discuss the four new Republican seats in the Illinois legislature and how it will impact the legislative process. They also highlight four new manufacturing companies that are leaving Illinois, the new tax on soft drinks in Chicago and Rahm Emanuel’s private email account.

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The Left's War On Students

When it comes to school funding, real-world application and empirical evidence supports the success of educational choice. Yet, the left insists on keeping a child's education tied to his parents income and zip code. It is an indefensible position. IOP Co-Founder Patrick Hughes discusses why liberals continue to perpetuate this system and the fears that motivate them. 

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The Tax Burden Of The CTU Deal

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft & Michael Lucci, VP of Policy, Illinois Policy Institute, break down the estimated costs of the CTU deal; they talk with Jelani McEwen, Dir. of External Affairs for the IL Network Of Charter Schools about the impact of the deal. They also discuss why more and more people continue to leave Illinois, especially millennials, for states like Indiana with job surplus’.

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CPS Is Back In Session - How Long Until The Threat Of Another Strike?

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft & Ted Dabrowski, VP of Policy, Illinois Policy Institute, discuss the potential of another CTU strike this year, how taxpayers are affected by actuarial assumptions in the pension system, why several Illinois Universities saw a drop in enrollment this semester and more.

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Common Core Is About Creating Social Activists For Bad Ideas

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Is It Possible To Consolidate Nearly 7,000 Units Of Govt. In Illinois?

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes, Co-Founder Illinois Opportunity Project, discuss the ongoing topic of Govt. consolidation in Illinois (a state with nearly 7,000 units of government), how CPS overpaid retirees by nearly 2.8 million in recent years, Gov. Rauner’s goal of reducing the states prison population by 25% and more. 

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Dan Proft & John Tillman Discuss Chicago's Ban On Smokeless Tobacco At Ballgames

On this edition of “Illinois Rising”, Dan Proft and John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, discuss Chicago’s recent ban on smokeless tobacco at baseball games, the Governors budget strategy, why big city school systems are going broke and the Presidential race - why is Kasich still in?

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Pat Hughes & Ted Dabrowski

On this edition of “Illinois Rising”, Pat Hughes, Co-Founder, Illinois Opportunity Project, and Ted Dabrowski, VP of Policy, Illinois Policy Institute; discuss Governor Rauner's reform proposal to save CPS, lavish spending at Illinois universities, Illinois largest government sector union AFSCME getting set to strike to enforce their salary hike demands, and Illinois' high tax burden driving families out of our state.

When teachers threaten a strike, call their bluff.

chicago tribune mast head
chicago tribune mast head

By Dan Proft (Article published in The Chicago Tribune on 12/10/15)

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan put a marker down for the rule of law when he fired more than 11,000 Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers who had walked off the job in violation of federal law, despite enjoying the backing of their union, PATCO, in the 1980 presidential campaign.

Is there a school board in Illinois willing to put a marker down for the next time its teachers walk the picket line?

In recent months, there have been three missed opportunities.

The 150 teachers at Prospect Heights School District 23 were out for a week in September before they came to terms with the board for a contract that provides a 14.25 percent pay increase over four years for teachers making less than $90,000 annually and a 9.75 percent pay increase over four years for teachers making more than $90,000.

Mari-Lynn Peters, the school board president, told me that for every job opening in District 23, the board receives 200 to 300 applications.

In October, it was the 248 teachers at McHenry County School District 156 who walked for a week. They agreed to come back after the board agreed to a 9 percent raise over three years in addition to splitting the cost of covering increased health insurance contributions.

Before the new contract, the average teacher salary in District 156 was just under $80,000, with 15 percent of teachers making more than $100,000 and two-thirds of teachers making more than $70,000. As in Prospect Heights, McHenry 156 board President Steve Bellmore told me that a substantial number of applications are received when there is a job opening in the district.

On Nov. 2, East St. Louis District 189 teachers returned to class after 21 days on strike with a four-year deal that provides an average salary increase of $12,834 over the life of the contract along with fully paid employee medical, dental, vision and life insurance (no deductible).

In East St. Louis, all of the more than 6,000 children in the district qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program. The median household income in East St. Louis is $19,000. The median pre-strike District 189 teacher salary was $72,000. Only 6 percent of East St. Louis students are deemed college-ready in spite of the fact that in the 2012-13 school year, East St. Louis spent $14,462 per student, compared with a statewide average of $11,483 among similarly sized school districts. And, when I say the district, I really mean the state of Illinois, because District 189 has been under state oversight since 2011 and receives two-thirds of its funding from state government.

My grammar school basketball coach used to tell us, "The graveyards are full of indispensable people."

The school boards in Prospect Heights, McHenry and East St. Louis all had the opportunity to put that pithy aphorism to the test in an environment where it appears that demand for teaching jobs outstrips supply.

I understand why they demurred. Replacing people is no fun.

But no individual teacher or even district full of teachers is more important than moving the K-12 culture away from conferring salaries and benefits to the adults and toward schools that are child-centered and outcome-focused.

Some will dismiss this piece as an attack on teachers because it is easier to propagate the imaginary battle between pro-teacher and anti-teacher forces.

But someone has to put a marker down.

School districts throughout Illinois, including in the leafy suburbs, are following the trajectory of the bankrupt, junk-rated Chicago Public Schools.

So it's apropos that CPS is up next for its second teacher strike in five years.

Rather ironically, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis seems to be the last honest potentate in the Illinois edu-ocracy. To keep CPS teachers enjoying the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed, Lewis supports a LaSalle Street tax on financial transactions and a progressive state income tax, and she is open to a city income tax if that's what it takes.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS chief Forrest Claypool pretend they can make a go of it at CPS with a $500 million state bailout of a system where a $1 billion annual budget deficit is the new normal.

Clearly the PATCO moment will not occur inside the leadership vacuum that is Chicago.

But it is going to happen if for no other reason than the axiomatic Herbert Stein's Law: If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

Our K-12 school systems cannot go on forever in their current form. Even if the will is weak, the math is inexorable.

Original article can be found here: http://trib.in/1NXRD3L