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The Worst Accountability Money Can Buy

Rather than doing the right thing, the politicians in charge want you to believe the situation is complicated. They hope to convince you the solutions are difficult. But whether or not children are safe is a straightforward question. CPS and the politicians in charge have either done the right thing or done the wrong thing. Pat Hughes explains it is that simple in this week's Two Minute Warning.

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The Supreme Court Rules For Worker Freedom

In a landmark decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Illinois state worker Mark Janus, protecting his free speech and the free speech of public sector workers across the country. What will the impact be for workers and taxpayers alike? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski discuss the Court’s decision with Janus’ lead attorney Jacob Huebert of the Liberty Justice Center. Proft and Dabrowski also talk about the economic impact the decision might have. And beyond the Janus case, they discuss the outrageous payments and benefits disgraced members of Mike Madigan’s inner circle are receiving despite sexual harassment allegations levied against them.

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Where Is The Accountability In CPS' Sex Abuse Scandal?

Since 2008, police have investigated more than 500 reports that children have been sexually assaulted or abused inside Chicago Public Schools. Where is the outrage? Where are the calls for school and city leaders to be held accountable? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Brian Timpone hear from state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford and member of the House education committee, about what was and wasn't accomplished during hearings on the CPS sex abuse scandal. Proft and Timpone also discuss the increasing costs to taxpayers for former President Barack Obama's presidential center in Chicago. And they broke down how more and more Illinois counties are seeing underwater mortgages become a norm.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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How Northridge Prep Builds Young Leaders

Parents in Illinois are continuously looking for the best educational options for their kids. What schools provide the most both in the classroom and in terms of character development? Northridge Prepatory School in Niles prides itself on both. On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft talks to Northridge Headmaster Niall Fagan and Athletic Director Will Rey about how the school is working to build the next generation of male leaders. Specifically, they discuss the dynamics of an all-boys school, and how Northridge Prep differs from other private institutions. They also discuss Illinois' new tax credit scholarship program and how it might impact them.

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What's At Stake In Democrats' Education Funding Bill

Gov. Bruce Rauner has said he will issue an amendatory veto to the Chicago Public Schools' bailout Democrats are proposing. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Illinois Policy's Ted Dabrowski about the history of Springfield bailing out Chicago Public Schools, and how the new legislation would hurt school districts across the state. They also talk to a Republican legislative candidate who is stepping up to challenge a Chicago Democrat representative.

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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).

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A Scam On Top Of A Scam On Top Of A Scam

Governor Rauner appeared in Decatur to oppose legislation that will bailout Chicago Public Schools by redistributing money from suburban schools. Should we trust the politicians who are promising no school will lose money?  Is that ‘hold harmless’ provision a scam? Why isn’t anyone talking about our school systems’ results? Where do we go from here? Mark Batinick, State Representative for the 97th district joined Dan & Amy to discuss why the proposed school funding changes are “a scam on top of a scam on top of a scam.”

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Democrats' CPS Bailout

Democrats got their income tax hike, but there is still major legislation to keep an eye on. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, about Democrats' proposed changes to the education funding formula - which would force downstate taxpayers to bailout Chicago Public Schools. They also discuss a new study showing Illinois' declining fiscal health, and labor unions' purchase of the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Democrats' Fake Reform

Lawmakers are trying to rush a budget at the end of special session, so House Democrats finally put forth a plan, which includes a property tax freeze. But the plan offers no real relief for struggling taxpayers. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes break this down with WirePoints.com's Mark Glennon, and discuss what real property tax relief should look like. They also discuss the soon-to-be insolvent Chicago police pension, and waste throughout Chicago Public Schools, as well as financial recklessness at the county level.

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Businesses Will Be Punished

In Chicago, if you start a business, work hard, stay disciplined, plan wisely---and do well as a result---you will be punished.

Right now, a group of Chicago aldermen, led by Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, are attempting to revive the employer’s expense tax to bail out Chicago Public Schools. Under Ramirez-Rosa’s plan, businesses that employ over fifty people would have to pay a thirty-three dollar “head tax” for each employee. On top of every other tax---property, income, whatever.

Pat Hughes dissects the Chicago political classes' newest tax on this edition of Two Minute Warning.

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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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Chance the Rapper's Missed Opportunity To Support School Choice

Whether it was his meeting with Chance the Rapper or his support for the Senate's budget negotiations, Gov. Bruce Rauner has been making some missteps. Dan Proft and Pat Hughes break it down and more on this edition of Illinois Rising.

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Chicago Charter Schools Outperforming CPS Neighborhood Schools

Constance Brewer from Noble Network of Charter Schools joined Dan & Amy to discuss the new research on the peformance of charter schools in Chicago as compared to the neighborhood schools. Ms. Brewer also addressed the cap on charter schools in Chicago.

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CPS' Leadership Is Failing Students & Taxpayers

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool says he isn't sure how CPS teacher pensions are calculated. But Dan Proft and Pat Hughes, co-founder of the Illinois Opportunity Project, break down the numbers with Illinois Policy's Ted Dabrowski, and show why CPS is both financially and morally bankrupt. They also explain how the Senate's "grand bargain" of multibillion dollar tax hikes could be on its way back, and why Gov. Bruce Rauner must forcefully oppose it.

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CTU In The Business Of Protecting Job Security, Not Educating Children

     

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This is Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas ‘Two Minute Warning.’  When Pritzker Elementary school laid off their librarian to cut costs in response to decreased enrollment, dozens of parents volunteered to staff the school library to keep it open.  Parents were finding a way to solve a problem of failed government and to serve the kids. Well---we can’t have that. The contemptible Karen Lewis and her Chicago Teachers Union filed a grievance against the school because parents had invaded their turf. Parents sadly---albeit predictably—were banned from staffing the library. Now students can’t check out books---At School--- AND the librarian is still jobless. Everybody loses while Karen Lewis and her union leadership hacks---people who claim to be educators---flex their muscle to ultimately line their pockets. Do you get it, Chicago? They don’t care about your children, no matter what they say.  Teachers Unions serve the interests of adults. In Chicago and elsewhere, they are in the business of winning better salaries and benefits, protecting job security, and otherwise advancing the interests of their members. That’s why in 2012 CTU members---some of the country’s best paid teachers--- went on strike until their pay was increased 16 percent. Here’s the deal. The kids in the system are cannon fodder. Each year, CPS fails to bring the majority of its students to grade-level achievement. And Only 26% of students graduate college-ready. Abject failure. There are solutions. But they require courage and action. You must challenge the status quo, and fight for “Educational Opportunity” and “Choice.” You must demand more charter schools and vouchers---so children aren’t relegated to a life of despair because of their parents income and zip code. Stand up for your children. If you don’t, you leave their education - and their futures---to those---like Karen Lewis---who don’t give a damn about either. You’ve been warned. For more Upstream Ideas visit www.Upstream-ideas.com

   

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Mark Glennon Is One Of The Most Dangerous Men In IL

Mark Glennon is a former corporate attorney and venture capitalist who understands bond markets, public sector pensions, the truth about Illinois' confiscatory property tax system and the rest of the state's financial house of cards and he breaks it all down at the news site he founded, Wirepoints.com. Glennon's facility with translating the Illinois Ruling Class' fantasy math into the tangible human costs it imposes makes him a dangerous man to Illinois pols and a must-read for Illinois residents.

On this edition of Against The Current, we explore questions with Mr. Glennon like, does Illinois have problems that can be solved or is it simply in a predicament with inevitable outcomes short of changes to federal bankruptcy law?  Can underfunded pension be salvaged? Is there a way to bring Illinois home values back, particularly for the 500,000 homes that are seriously underwater? What will happen to Illinois if it continues to lead the nation in out-migration?

We'll explore all of these topics and more with Wirepoints.com Founder Mark Glennon on this installment of Against The Current.

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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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