CHICAGO, July 31, 2018—The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today following reports of rampant misconduct from crisis-plagued charter operator Camelot Education in Chicago Public Schools.
Another day, and sadly, another Mayor Rahm Emanuel scandal in Chicago Public Schools. We are still in the throes of one crisis and yet another has been brought to light. This new scandal involves Camelot Education, the for-profit charter profiteers that Emanuel and his handpicked Chicago Board of Education recruited, which have been caught in another instance of bribery and graft. The pay-to-play games run by Emanuel and his school bosses just keep broadening, proving that there is a culture of corruption aided and abetted by the markets-above-all mindset of the leaders of our district.
The mayor could have chosen to expand successful initiatives such as a credit recovery program like Peace and Education night school, or Career and Technical Education to re-enroll students who have left school. Instead, he brought in a for-profit business that used CEO-turned-convict Barbara Byrd Bennett to funnel millions of dollars of taxpayer money into its pockets. “How many of these students went to schools that were closed, or were special education students with Individual Education Plans that were never fully adhered to because of budget cuts?” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said. “How many of these students are dealing with sustained and persistent trauma due to widespread poverty and violence in their neglected neighborhoods?”
“For these children to become commodities in a for-profit charter scam is yet another cruel injustice perpetrated by the mayor,” Sharkey said.
The evidence continues to show that Emanuel suffers from chronic, misplaced priorities. The only individuals who have benefited from his tenure as head of CPS are wealthy neighborhoods, the business elite and his campaign donors. We deserve a mayor who won’t shortchange minority neighborhoods and school communities; one who won’t place profits over people. We deserve a mayor for all of Chicago.
For-profit charter schools have no place in our city, as privatizing public education has repeatedly led to scandal after scandal in Chicago. Mayoral control of our schools is a failed experiment. Chicago’s public school students and families deserve an elected, representative school board.