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Ray Hartstein, co-ounder, first chairman of Oakton Community College, dead at 96

Ray Hartstein, who co-founded Oakton Community College, died Sunday at 96 at his home in Vernon Hills. Formerly a longtime Skokie resident, Mr. Hartstein was the first chairman of the board at Oakton, which opened in 1970.

UNO charter schools now target of IRS audit over bonds


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


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


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


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


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.

CPS unveils new logo designed by students


The image of a student, from little tot to proud graduate, will now represent Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago school district plans to unveiled its new logo Thursday on a redesigned website.

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


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.

Nearly $1 million from charters went to firms identified in FBI probe


THE WATCHDOGS: Contractors facing scrutiny in an ongoing investigation of Concept Schools have been paid nearly $1 million over the past three years for work at three Chicago Public Schools-funded campuses run by the charter operator, records show.

Watchdogs: 3 homes, over $200K in pay for CTU boss Lewis, who may challenge ‘Mayor 1%’


THE WATCHDOGS: Chicago Teachers Union boss and potential mayoral challenger Karen Lewis, who has railed against the influence of the wealthy and called Mayor Rahm Emanuel “Mayor 1%,” has three homes, including a condo in Hawaii, and is paid more than $200,000 a year in union salaries, records show.

The Watchdogs: Chicago Board of Ed President David Vitale’s bank would benefit from charter-school deal


THE WATCHDOGS: David Vitale, the president of the Chicago Board of Education, runs a bank that stands to benefit from a proposal for a new charter school on the South Side that’s set to come before the school board for approval later this month.

De Diego Elementary principal, assistant principal ousted

The principal and assistant principal of a “welcoming school” on the near Northwest Side have been removed from their posts, according to Chicago Public Schools.

Alice Vera, principal of Jose De Diego Elementary Community Academy, 1313 N. Claremont Ave., and an assistant principal have been …

Algebra students struggle to find formula to end violence


The task for 300 South Side high schoolers: Brainstorm ways to quell the city’s violence. The solution for some: Move to Florida.

CPS officials talking to prospective buyer for headquarters

Chicago Public Schools confirmed it’s in talks with an interested buyer for its headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. District spokesman Joel Hood said CPS is discussing a potential sale with Marc Realty Residential, but said the proceedings are in their early stages.

2 Sun-Times staffers win top honors for education writing


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.

Emanuel: I welcome principals’ concerns and ideas


“If a principal has a concern or an idea . . . my attitude is, ‘We want to hear about it if there are concerns,’ ” Emanuel said Wednesday. “Barbara [Byrd-Bennett] meets regularly with the principals. I meet with them when I go to the schools and bring their ideas in.”