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1 - 20 of 29 Comments Last updated May 21, 2013
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Bruschka Czerwinski

South Holland, IL

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#1
Apr 9, 2013
 
The fools of BRCA, keep making the same wrong choices and vote in the same bad board members who allow the tyrant known as the superintendent to distroy our district. I so glad my daughter moved out of this district when my grandkids started school. Sometimes,change is good. all to often comfortable is very bad.
Concerned resident

Wessington Springs, SD

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#2
Apr 9, 2013
 

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Especially with Steve and Lynn being re-elected! Hell Steve lives in Arizona.
Voter

Alsip, IL

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#3
Apr 11, 2013
 

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Well at least Steve will stands up to that Superintend but Lynn lets the superintendent hide your skirt. The superintendent is just taking the district money without doing anything!!!!!!!!
No One Cares

Alsip, IL

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#4
Apr 14, 2013
 
There goes the last thread of hope for the kids in SD 130. Yay...
think about this

Midlothian, IL

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#5
Apr 25, 2013
 

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State cuts off money to UNO charter schools over insider deals
UNO deal helped its VP’s brother build company
State investigating $98 million grant for UNO charter schools
More money from clout-heavy Hispanic group UNO went to insider
3 relatives of UNO boss on payroll of charter school operator
For insiders, community group UNO’s charter schools pay
Mayor says the UNO should be “held accountable” for contract cronyism
UNO charter schools backers support House Speaker Madigan with campaign cash
Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration has cut off funding to the state’s largest charter-school operator, the politically influential United Neighborhood Organization, over insider deals it says violated terms of a $98 million state grant, according to a letter obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The deals involved millions of dollars in state funds that went to companies owned by two brothers of a high-ranking UNO executive, Miguel d’Escoto, that were hired as contractors on state-funded school construction projects in Chicago, according to the letter, which was sent to the organization Thursday from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The state agency began investigating UNO in response to reports in the Sun-Times that revealed that d’Escoto Inc. and Reflection Window Co. have been paid a total of $8.5 million out of the state grant. D’Escoto Inc. is owned by Federico “Fred” d’Escoto. Reflection Window is owned by Rodrigo d’Escoto.
The two men are brothers of Miguel d’Escoto, a city transportation commissioner in former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration who resigned Feb. 12 from his $200,000-a-year position as UNO’s No. 2 executive following the Sun-Times reports.
State officials said UNO should have notified them it was using the companies owned by the d’Escoto family members.
“We believe that UNO’s failure to notify the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity of an appearance of a conflict of interest arising from the familial relationship between a senior UNO official and two contractors hired to perform work with grant funds constituted a violation of ... the grant agreements,” Charles M. Biggam III, general counsel for the state agency, said in the letter to Juan Rangel, UNO’s chief executive officer, who is a key political supporter of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Biggam said UNO violated a requirement in each of three grant agreements that it must notify the state “in writing of any actual or potential conflicts of interest.”
Biggam told Rangel, who was co-chairman of Emanuel’s 2011 mayoral campaign, the state is “withholding any further payment of grant funds and prohibiting UNO from incurring additional obligations of grant funds until further notice.”
Asked about the state action, Rangel said,“UNO is working ... to address the relevant issues.”
UNO so far has received $54.7 million of the $98 million grant, which the group won with the support of Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).
It used the state taxpayer funding to finish one new school and build two others but was relying on much of what was left to complete a $25 million charter high school it’s building at 5050 S. Homan Ave.— to be called the UNO Soccer Academy High School.
Quinn and Madigan attended a groundbreaking last summer for the high school, which UNO planned to open next fall. The impact on those plans isn’t clear.
But Rangel noted,“We should not lose sight that there are hundreds of children already enrolled for the new UNO Soccer High School looking to start this fall in their school, currently under construction.”
The move to suspend the state funding came after the Quinn administration asked Rangel to respond to a Feb. 4 report in the Sun-Times revealing UNO’s hiring of the companies owned by d’Escoto’s brothers.
think about this

Midlothian, IL

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#6
Apr 25, 2013
 
Records show UNO paid d’Escoto Inc.— whose owner Fred d’Escoto is a former UNO board secretary — more than $1.8 million to serve as its “owner’s representative” on its state-funded school projects. UNO suspended d’Escoto Inc. in February.

It has continued to use Reflection Window, which was paid about $6.7 million from the state grant for its work on two UNO schools and is in line to get another $3.1 million for work on the Soccer Academy High School.

The letter from the Quinn administration Thursday also asked Rangel to respond to a report in Monday’s Sun-Times that Miguel d’Escoto was on d’Escoto Inc.’s board while also working for UNO. City records show Miguel d’Escoto was treasurer of his brother’s company from April 2008 until January 2011. UNO began paying d’Escoto Inc. out of the state grant in August 2010, weeks after Fred d’Escoto resigned from the UNO board.

The attorney for the state agency also asked Rangel about “the current status of the relationship” between UNO and Reflection Window.

Rangel had told state officials last month that Miguel d’Escoto’s only role in his brothers’ work for UNO was signing off on the payments to their companies.

The Quinn administration, citing Sun-Times reports, now wants UNO to have an independent audit done, at its own expense, to show how the state money has been handled.

UNO already was facing an investigation by Quinn’s executive inspector general, Ricardo Meza, regarding the state funding and had hired a former federal judge, Wayne Andersen, to review its contracting practices.

In addition to the state grant for new school construction, UNO has borrowed more than $70 million to rehabilitate existing buildings for its schools. D’Escoto Inc. got more than $570,000 for work on renovation projects that did not involve state money from 2007 through last year. So, in all, it has gotten more than $2.3 million from UNO.

UNO relies on tens of millions of dollars a year it gets from the Chicago Public Schools to pay back the money it borrowed and to operate its 13 charter schools, which serve more than 6,500 students.

The Chicago Board of Education recently renewed UNO’s charter deal for five years. CPS officials said the new charter contracts would impose ethics requirements.

After completing the Soccer Academy High School, UNO would have been left with $15 million from the state grant — not enough to build another school. So it has asked legislators for another $35 million.
UNO also has submitted plans to Bedford Park village officials to build a campus in the southwest suburb and proposed that that property be annexed by the city of Chicago as part of Madigan’s home 13th Ward.
CIrving

United States

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#7
Apr 26, 2013
 
Who gives a damn about what's happening in Chicago! What's happening here is more important. Now what's this rumor floating around about huge cuts in personnel at our primary schools? Allot of older teachers being asked to retire early or forced out? The same with
Bi-Lingual/Para-pro teachers & support staff too. What the hell is this about?
BITaxpayer

United States

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#8
Apr 28, 2013
 
CIrving wrote:
Who gives a damn about what's happening in Chicago! What's happening here is more important. Now what's this rumor floating around about huge cuts in personnel at our primary schools? Allot of older teachers being asked to retire early or forced out? The same with
Bi-Lingual/Para-pro teachers & support staff too. What the hell is this about?
So how many teachers and support staff are getting the axe next month? 5%, 10% How many? And whom are getting let go? I've heard some wild numbers?
Cuts

Chicago, IL

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#9
Apr 28, 2013
 
BITaxpayer wrote:
<quoted text>
So how many teachers and support staff are getting the axe next month? 5%, 10% How many? And whom are getting let go? I've heard some wild numbers?
Cuts must be made to support the top heavy administration.
Never

Chicago, IL

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#10
Apr 28, 2013
 
Cuts wrote:
<quoted text>
Cuts must be made to support the top heavy administration.
We will never cut ourselves out of a job!
130Parent

United States

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#11
Apr 29, 2013
 
BITaxpayer wrote:
<quoted text>
So how many teachers and support staff are getting the axe next month? 5%, 10% How many? And whom are getting let go? I've heard some wild numbers?
There are some teachers and support staff I would love to see go. They have been there so long they are just going through the motions of teaching. They think they have seniority and can cruise through. I have a hit list who I love to see get axed. Get some fresh faces there for our kids. Anybody else have a hitlist. Mine are from Paul Revere Primary. I say hand the hitlists to the Board.
Parent

Alsip, IL

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#12
May 1, 2013
 

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Too bad the district can also make a hitlist of parents can not control their children and want the school to be the parent to the childen. Parents it works both ways, teach your children respect, matters, and get involved with the schools to work together!
voter

Alsip, IL

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#13
May 8, 2013
 

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Good news to residents of school district 130. Lynn is out as president of school board. Lauk your next. Lynn don't cry. Thank you school board, I know you will do a great job. We now have a majority of votes.
question

Alsip, IL

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#14
May 8, 2013
 
voter wrote:
Good news to residents of school district 130. Lynn is out as president of school board. Lauk your next. Lynn don't cry. Thank you school board, I know you will do a great job. We now have a majority of votes.
So who is the new board president?
Concerned BI

Cedar Lake, IN

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#15
May 9, 2013
 
voter wrote:
Good news to residents of school district 130. Lynn is out as president of school board. Lauk your next. Lynn don't cry. Thank you school board, I know you will do a great job. We now have a majority of votes.
This is the problem. There are majorities and not individuals who can make a decision based on what is best for the community. The majority will pass everything they wish including the hiring of relatives. In 2 years you will be complaining about this school board just as you have about all the others.
Parent

Alsip, IL

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#16
May 9, 2013
 
Those individuals became the majority who have the interested of the community. For the last 4 years under the L&L regime was a total disaster. These individuals now have find a new superintendent for our community. In the next 2 years it is going to be better than the last four. Previous person must have been a Lynn supporter.
Domingoloquin

Orland Park, IL

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#17
May 10, 2013
 
Have the lazy crossing guards place the safety signs back up in the intersections every morning.
All stop signs are chained and locked and they don't bother to put them out.
The guard on 123rd and Vincennes is busy on her cell phone every morning, she talks on the phone while kids cross the street by themselves.
Add a guard at 123rd and Greenwood where it's needed the most.
BITaxpayer

United States

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#18
May 11, 2013
 
Domingoloquin wrote:
Have the lazy crossing guards place the safety signs back up in the intersections every morning.
All stop signs are chained and locked and they don't bother to put them out.
The guard on 123rd and Vincennes is busy on her cell phone every morning, she talks on the phone while kids cross the street by themselves.
Add a guard at 123rd and Greenwood where it's needed the most.
After this May there may not be any crossing guards anymore...at least that is what Dr. Lauk wants. Cost cutting as he puts it.
Sounds

Chicago, IL

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#19
May 11, 2013
 
BITaxpayer wrote:
<quoted text>
After this May there may not be any crossing guards anymore...at least that is what Dr. Lauk wants. Cost cutting as he puts it.
Just plain foolish.
concerned parent

Orland Park, IL

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#20
May 12, 2013
 
BITaxpayer wrote:
<quoted text>
After this May there may not be any crossing guards anymore...at least that is what Dr. Lauk wants. Cost cutting as he puts it.
i love how u call the crossing guards lazy.why dont you stand out there for the abuse of cars trying to run u done .stand out there in bad weather.and ingnorant parents as yourself and complain.i think these crossing guards have alot of responseability,for what they are paid,so dont judge them thank them for a good job they do

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