education

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Clout contractor got $3.1M in CPS work after City Hall ban

THE WATCHDOGS: Two years ago, the city banned Windy City Electric Co. from getting any more business over allegations it fraudulently landed millions in contracts set aside for companies owned by women. But the ban didn’t keep the politically connected contractor from getting more than $3 million in new work from the Chicago Public Schools.

Karen Lewis leaves progressives without standard-bearer: Mihalopoulos

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DAN MIHALOPOULOS: Before the CTU leader ended her exploratory campaign for mayor this week, she insisted she had no burning ambition to run for political office but sought “to change the political landscape.” So what now for the would-be movement Lewis was poised to lead into battle?

Karen Lewis has brain tumor, not running for mayor

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The feisty leader of the Chicago Teachers Union chief is facing chemotherapy. She will not try to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel, according to Jay Travis, the head of her exploratory committee.

Lewis, battling ‘serious illness,’ has surgery

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Chicago Teachers Union officials revealed on Thursday that CTU President Karen Lewis has a “serious illness,” underwent surgery Wednesday and is “alert and comfortable.” But for the fourth straight day, neither the union nor Lewis’ campaign staff would comment on the nature of that illness …

Ailing Lewis’ condition remains under wraps

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Details of Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis’ health stayed under wraps Wednesday, with a campaign staffer declining to comment on her condition. Lewis, 61, was hospitalized Sunday after she said she didn’t feel well, according to the Chicago Teachers Union. In a tweet Wednesday …

CTU President Karen Lewis ‘not well,’ but union mum on details

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Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is “not well” but under top-notch medical care, the union said Tuesday, refusing to detail the health crisis that has landed Lewis in the hospital.

National teachers union contributes $30,000 to Karen Lewis

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The American Federation of Teachers has contributed $30,000 to Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis — the first installment toward a promised $1 million to help defeat Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Troubled UNO asks former Emanuel aides for help

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THE WATCHDOGS: The clout-heavy United Neighborhood Organization — facing federal scrutiny and a power struggle that threatens its funding — has brought in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former communications director and two lawyers who helped keep Emanuel on the ballot in 2011.

2 charter schools run by Des Plaines-based Concept Schools added to Ohio misconduct inquiry

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A state inquiry in Ohio into allegations of misconduct inside Concept Schools, the embattled charter-school chain based in Des Plaines, has been expanded to two additional Ohio cities. The FBI has been investigating Concept charter schools in Ohio and several other states, including Illinois.

UNO charter schools now target of IRS audit over bonds

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The United Neighborhood Organization’s charter-school network is facing possible new legal troubles, with an IRS audit of bonds issued for its Chicago schools. The Internal Revenue Service audit involves nearly $37 million in bonds issued in 2011 for the UNO Charter School Network Inc.

Lewis’ first donor: head of agency that gives grants to CPS teachers

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The head of a not-for-profit organization that awards grants to Chicago public school teachers is the first contributor to Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis’ potential mayoral campaign.

Leaky roof, mold, asbestos tiles found at Concept Schools’ Chatham site

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Standing water from a leaky roof. Visible mold and a pungent smell that hangs in the air. Floor tiles made of asbestos. Those were just some of the problems Concept Schools had to contend with before getting a school building near Chatham ready for kids next month, according to documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

CPS scraps South Side campus plan for controversial charter school operator

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Chicago Public Schools officials are not allowing a beleaguered charter school operator to open a planned South Side campus next month, a CPS source has confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times.

National school union would put $1 million into Karen Lewis mayoral campaign

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The head of the American Federation of Teachers says the national union is ready to spend $1 million to help Karen Lewis unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel if the Chicago Teachers Union president decides to run. Emanuel “has shown a deep disrespect for what public education is all about,” AFT leader Randi Weingarten told the Chicago Sun-Times.

$1 million pledge changes Lewis’ ‘calculus’ — but not her timeline

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Karen Lewis said Tuesday that a $1 million pledge of support from the American Federation of Teachers “automatically changes the calculus” of a potential mayoral campaign. But apparently not enough to push the Chicago Teachers Union president any closer to deciding whether she’ll challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I want to run things on my timeline,” Lewis told a capacity crowd of union members at Morgan Park’s Beverly Woods Banquet Hall. It was her third “conversation” with Chicagoans. And she’s got 74 more to go.

2 Sun-Times staffers win top honors for education writing

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Two Chicago Sun-Times staffers — reporter Dan Mihalopoulos and deputy editorial page editor Kate N. Grossman — have won top honors in the National Awards for Education Reporting competition.