The Rise and Fall of Juan Rangel

The Rise and Fall of Juan Rangel

Be among the first to read Chicago Magazine's look into the UNO story, written by the magazine and the BGA. "One man turned a small activist group into the nation’s biggest Hispanic charter school operator. And then the trouble started." Then come back and let us know what they missed (or got right).


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  • Nobody Wants To Talk Charters In Chicago Right now (something I wrote)

  • Katten, Tozer, and Brackett discuss charters in Chicago on WTTW last nigth

  • There is really not a whole lot that can be added about the Chicago Magazine story about Mr. Rangel. There was stuff in there that I did not know and I read I think every article the Sun Times wrote about UNO.

    I think the conclusions the authors drew about fiscal supervision of charter schools were legitimate, but I have my doubts about CPS spending the money to closely audit these schools. I also think that Mr. Rangel was correct that public sector laws relating to nepotism may not apply to charter schools. I think they should and I think the problem clearly extends to Nobel street charter where Michael Milkie's wife Tonya Milkie is also on the payroll as Dean of Students under his supervision as network CEO.

    Moreover, there are problems with the board structures of some charter schools. For example at Nobel Michael Milkie actually sits on the Board of Directors and is also the CEO of the network. Since the Board actually selects the CEO that in itself is somewhat problematic even assuming Mr. Milkie abstains from voting on his own salary and benefit package or there is a provision in the by laws relating to that issue.

    The problem with attempting to regulate the fiscal practices of charter schools is the reality that they are legally subcontractors of CPS and not actually public schools. This also was the formal finding by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that at least one CPS authorized charter school and probably all such schools are not public schools. The NLRB specifically noted that governing board members of charter schools are not appointed by or subject to removal by any public official.

    So while Chicago Magazine's recommendation for greater supervision sounds good, in reality it may not be possible under the existing charter school law.

    Rod Estvan

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