Diane picked up that the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting Wall Street investors are getting a little shaky with UNO, a quasi-government-private partnership that was supposed to rapidly expand charter schools in and around Chicago.

An expansion that was to be partially funded by $37.5 million of Wall Street’s money.

A crack has just opened in the impenetrable fortress wall. A pinpoint of light is shining through.

The easiest way to stop the charter school process may not be through legislation, but by an actions far simpler to achieve: Make charter schools unprofitable… A philanthropist will invest in a charter if it earns no money. But Wall Street investor certainly will not.

That is the problem they have with Chicago.. Chicago points the way on how to organize and hit Wall Street where it hurts…

A. Picket Charter Schools as unfair to Labor. Who wants to sign their children up in a school with picket signs outside protesting the destruction of the middle class by Wall Street? What kind of status symbol would that be, to have to tell your boss where your kids go to school? An embarrassment, that’s what.

B. Call state legislators to complain about anything negative you can find out about the “new” charter school. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Truly, you are doing that lawmaker a favor; you are saving his butt from being blindsided by parents back home. All he hears from lobbyists in his office, is how great charter schools theoretically are. Reality is far different…

C. Threat of unionizing all Charter School Teachers… And why not? Why not enlist Charter School teachers and help them get organized to demand higher wages or strike? Aren’t they people too? Why should they work for a lot less than public school teachers, when they could easily be making the same salaries if they would just organize into a union, as do public teachers? What Charter School teacher would say no to higher wages? What Charter School Teacher could say no to higher wages… It is time to aggressively recruit.

D. Investigate all transactions to insure no embezzlement. Check over state funding to Charters which is published and look aggressively for corruption, nepotism, and anything to taint the charter school in bad light, thereby jeopardizing state funding…

Arne Duncun said… we would learn a lot from Chicago… and he was right.

In short, UNO obtained $98 million from the state legislature to build new charters. It turns out that $8.5 million of that money went to companies owned by two brothers of UNO’s number 2 official, Miguel d’Escoto. When the scandal broke, he stepped down from his $200,000 job, resulting in then Governor Pat Quinn to halt payment on the balance still owed to UNO…. Investors got worried and question UNO in a conference call, over the scandal, over the unionization of Charter teachers taking place, over the halt of construction on one of the new schools for failure to pay the bills, The governor has suspended payments of the remainder of state money until satisfied that the Charter is performing as promised. And this just in, UNO spokesperson confessed to the Chicago Sun-Times that “future funding may be at stake..”

The lesson here, is that getting a legislator to part with his campaign money coming in, is a lot harder than making Wall Street’s return on investment extremely risky. When Wall Street starts consistently losing money each time it invests in education, it will move on to something more prosperous.

We see what we have to do,…. Now, lets make it happen…

Union leaders. Start pressing charter schools to join.

Bloggers. Start pouring over the balance sheets on line of your nearest Charter School.

Parents. Write you legislator on how much Charter Schools have destroyed the educational experience for you child…

Yes we can do this… We can learn a lot from Chicago.

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