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Archive for February 21st, 2017

Chicago’s Immigrant Communities Prepared to Respond to Revised Executive Order from Trump

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on Chicago’s Immigrant Communities Prepared to Respond to Revised Executive Order from Trump

Immigrants also responding to ICE raids with mass protests across the country


A press conference in response to Donald Trump’s revised #MuslimBan executive order, and immigrant raids across the country will be held outside the Chicago office of the Department of Homeland Security, 525 W. Van Buren Street; downtown Chicago, two hours after the official announcement from the White House.


CHICAGO, IL – President Donald Trump is expected to sign a revised #MuslimBan executive order sometime today (February 21st), and a number of the organizations that have led the resistance against his first month in office will discuss the order at a press conference two hours after the announcement / signing.

Although it is reported that changes to the original January 27th ban will include the exemption of green card holders and the removal of the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, immigrant advocates still see it as a continuation of the racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic policies of the Trump administration.  

“Make no mistake that what we are hearing and reading is that this is still very much a Muslim Ban,” said Ahlam Jbara, board member of the Arab American Action Network. “Immigrants from the same seven Muslim-majority Middle Eastern, Arab, and African countries will be targeted and disallowed entry into the U.S., and refugees won’t be accepted here either.”

Trump’s original executive order was defeated when thousands of people across the country descended on airports—including close to 5,000 on O’Hare over two nights—to protest the ban. These protests prompted a federal judge in Washington to file an injunction freezing the order, which was upheld on appeal by the 9th Circuit.  Advocates believed that Trump would challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court, but he chose to revise the order instead.   

In addition, the Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in multiple cities, which have targeted mostly Mexican and Central American immigrants and threatened mass detention and deportation, have been met with tens of thousands of protesters across the country.  Resistance to Trump’s first month in office is unprecedented.

#NoMuslimBanChi #NoBanNoWallNoRaidsChicago


All conveners and supporters of the Chicago and Oak Park actions since January 27th: Arab American Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Organized Communities Against Deportations, United African Organization, Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, PASO – West Suburban Action Project, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, National Immigrant Justice Center, U.S. Palestinian Community Network, National Lawyers Guild, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Pilsen Alliance, Chicago Teachers Union, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Student and Graduate Activists (SAGA)-UIC, Syrian Community Network, Arab American Family Services, Indo-American Center, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance of Illinois, Inner-city Muslim Action Network, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, Anakbayan-Chicago, Iraqi Mutual Aid Society, Jewish Voice for Peace, Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Suburban Unity Alliance, American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Suburban Unity Alliance, Black Lives Matter-Chicago, Arise-Chicago, United Electrical Workers (UE) Western Region, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, United Working Families, Fight for 15-Chicago, elected and appointed officials, and many other advocacy, immigrant rights, and legal groups.

House Democrats Express Concern over Bill Empowering Rauner to Dictate Employee Pay in All Branches of Government

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on House Democrats Express Concern over Bill Empowering Rauner to Dictate Employee Pay in All Branches of Government

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, said “Governor Rauner continues to play games with the budget, issuing the following statement:


“Rather than working with both parties to prevent a potential government shutdown, Governor Rauner continues to play games with the budget and threaten the economic security of Illinois’ middle-class families.


“House Democrats have introduced legislation that appropriates funds to cover state employee salaries for the remainder of this fiscal year. It’s our hope that this would give the governor time to step back from the edge of a catastrophe, drop his corporate agenda, and return to the negotiating table to craft a full-year budget. Instead, he has chosen to use state employees and their families as leverage to further empower himself.


“Since he first began campaigning, Governor Rauner’s stated agenda has been to ‘shut things down’ in order to pass his corporate agenda. The governor’s agenda of creating chaos and disrupting services was clear when he vetoed House Democrats’ legislation that would avert a government shutdown by preventing state workers from striking, and it’s clear now as he blocks our efforts to ensure state employees are paid.


“The governor’s proposal gives his office sole and exclusive, unilateral authority over how much to pay, who to pay and what to pay in every agency of state government, whether they are under his control or not. House Democrats feel it’s not only dangerous to give this power to a governor who has made no secret of his belief that nurses, teachers and police officers are overpaid, but a blatant violation of the separation of powers. Not only does the governor’s legislation hand him a blank check to overspend taxpayer dollars as much as he wishes, it would give him the authority to dictate the payrolls of other duly elected constitutional officers.


“House Democrats are committed to ensuring state workers are paid for the services they provide in order to prevent a government shutdown. We are also committed to our constitutional system of separated powers, and determined to provide accountability to all taxpayers.”


State Rep. Evans says Gov. Rauner’s Annual Budget Address Failed to Address Some of the Most Significant Concerns in Neighborhoods he Represents

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on State Rep. Evans says Gov. Rauner’s Annual Budget Address Failed to Address Some of the Most Significant Concerns in Neighborhoods he Represents

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Rep. Marcus Evans, D-Chicago, response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s annual budget address:


“Today the governor addressed the people of Illinois but some people were left out of his speech. The governor failed to address some of the most significant concerns of people in the neighborhoods I represent. He failed to mention funding programs or creating initiatives that advocate and create opportunities for black men and women on the south side of Chicago. The governor has continued to neglect black communities and the needs of our people. The governor failed to talk about a plan to further develop and growth struggling communities or new investments in these areas. He talked about funding for our schools but there was no mention of more funding for Chicago State University, or early childhood development and day care programs. All of these factors play a vital role in the standard of living for minority communities.


“Though the governor failed to acknowledge black communities in his speech, it is my hope that going forward he will include us in his agenda.


“The governor brought up plans and developments for infrastructure in our state, but our roads continue to crumble. As the new chairman of the Transportation: Regulation, Roads & Bridges Committee, I intend to take a lead role in helping pass legislation that will improve our state’s infrastructure. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move Illinois forward.”


Evans has been a leading voice in the General Assembly for poor and minority communities on the south side of Chicago. He has pushed for more funding for programs and education at all levels.



Strike Vote by ASPIRA Educators Sets Stage for First Charter Strike in U.S. History

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on Strike Vote by ASPIRA Educators Sets Stage for First Charter Strike in U.S. History

Lack of accountability, transparency is undermining conditions in classrooms, say educators, who will vote to strike on Wednesday.


CHICAGO, IL –  Schools serve as a pathway to educational excellence and lifelong success — but that mission is foundering for ASPIRA’s students and educators, forcing teachers to take a strike vote this Wednesday to push management to greater transparency and accountability. A strike at ASPIRA’s charter schools would be the first strike in U.S. history at a charter school network.


ASPIRA runs four publicly funded Chicago charter schools serving roughly a thousand mostly Latino students. ASPIRA educators — all members of ACE, a council of educators with ChiACTS Local 4343 — have been negotiating for a new contract for almost ten months. But negotiations have stalled over lack of transparency and accountability in finances and foundering leadership at the network’s most senior levels, threatening conditions in classrooms. ASPIRA spends roughly 60% less on instruction than the average for Chicago’s public schools.

A Rally for ASPIRA educators will be held Wednesday • February 22, 2017, 4:30 p.m., at Aspira Early College/Pantoja High Schools, 3121 North Pulaski Road, Chicago.

At the rally, teachers and staff will announce the results of Wednesday’s strike authorization vote.


This year, ASPIRA will spend more than 40% of its budget on “overhead”, including senior staff salary, compared to a Chicago charter school average of roughly 25%. Yet school leadership has been marred by chronic instability and poor conditions at ASPIRA’s four schools, while teachers and frontline staff shoulder responsibilities for student recruitment and fundraising for classroom needs.


Many schools have had vacant positions since the beginning of the school year. 20% of Antonia Pantoja High School’s teachers are substitutes — underscoring a growing crisis in retaining qualified, committed teachers. Students at ABF lack the resources to conduct science experiments in their science lab. ESL teaching slots remain vacant, programs for special education students are not in compliance with ISBE standards at the same time that the percentage of students with IEPs — individualized education programs — is increasing, music programs and other extracurricular activities at Haugan are being cut, and students across the system are not getting the English language learning support they need — a critical abandonment of Aspira’s founding mission to serve the Hispanic community.  


Classrooms go days without being cleaned. Bathrooms lack toilet paper, handsoap and paper towels, while some toilets have been unusable since last year and building leaks stain school walls. Poor facility maintenance deters potential students and their parents, while many teachers clean their own classrooms in a desperate bid to improve conditions for their students. Some educators have resorted to GoFundMe campaigns to raise support for school projects and field trips.


Educators lay blame for the charter network’s poor management squarely at the feet of ASPIRA Inc. board chair Fernando Grillo, who has led the non-profit for the last seven years. In the last 6 weeks alone, the charter network’s CEO and Chief Academic Officer have been removed, only one principal who started the school year remains in that position, and the system’s COO — who had essentially been running the charter school network — recently resigned.


ACE educators work for ASPIRA because they believe in the non-profit’s founding principles — including its commitment of service to the Hispanic community — and have historically taken less in pay and compensation than their peers at other public schools. A teacher at Aspira with a Masters degree and five years of experience earns the same as a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree just out of college at CPS. And teachers have vowed to hold ASPIRA’s top management accountable for their actions and to their obligations to their students, even if educators must strike to force management to uphold educational standards for their schools’ young people.  


Clarence Darrow Symposium to Explore Populism

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on Clarence Darrow Symposium to Explore Populism

Annual commemoration of Clarence Darrow takes place Monday, March 13


CHICAGO, IL –  Famed attorney Clarence Darrow, inspired by his defense of Patrick Prendergast in Chicago in the 1890s, became attracted to a burgeoning populist movement. The Debs Rebellion, named for labor organizer Eugene Debs, was in full force, and Darrow began to see how judges were under the control of corporations. “The experience left him angry and alienated,” author John A. Farrell writes in his biography of Darrow.

What Darrow said in the late 1800s could easily be said of 2017 in the U.S.: “Today the privileged institutions of America, fattened by unjust laws and conditions, boastfully proclaim that monopoly is king.” Darrow joined the Cook County central committee of the Populist Party in 1892.

Flash forward 125 years, and you have a redefined populism of a billionaire as president, staking his claim as the leader of working people. How does this take on populism compare to the populism of Darrow? Come hear author Farrell’s take on this interesting series of events at the annual Clarence Darrow symposium on the seventy-ninth anniversary of Darrow’s death, Monday, March 13.

The title of the program is, “Robber Barons & Populists: Would Clarence Darrow recognize today’s Populism?”

The day begins with a brief ceremony and wreath-tossing near the Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park at 10 a.m., where Darrow’s ashes were scattered after his death and where, as a bet, he once agreed his spirit would return if it turned out communication was possible from the afterworld. The bridge is closed due to construction, so the ceremony will be just to the east of the Darrow tribute marker. For the past 60 years, through the annual commemoration ceremony and lecture, Darrow’s spirit has returned—usually to remind us that his work is not yet done.

Special guest speakers at the Darrow Bridge include Ald. Leslie Hairston, activist Bernardine Dohrn, ACLU of Illinois Associate Legislative Director Khadine Bennett and Gene Winkler, adjunct faculty at the Divinity School, University of Chicago.

After the ritual outdoor wreath-tossing, guests will move inside to the Museum of Science and Industry’s Rosenwald Room (formerly the Columbian Room) for light refreshments and presentations at 10:45 a.m. by author Farrell.

Darrow, who died March 13, 1938, is remembered for his crusading role as “attorney for the damned” in such controversial cases as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Leopold and Loeb murder case, and the pardoning of the Haymarket anarchists.

DIRECTIONS: The Clarence Darrow Bridge is behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Since it is currently under constructions, the wreath-tossing ceremony will take place just east of the bridge. Driving south on Lake Shore Drive, pass the light at 57th Drive and turn right at the next light [Science Drive]. You will come almost immediately to Columbia Drive. If you turn left and follow Columbia Drive there is metered parking near the bridge. You may park at meters near the OmniMax Theater and walk south to the bridge.

For more details see www.darrowbridge.org.

JOHN A. FARRELL: John A. Farrell is the author of Clarence Darrow: Attorney For The Damned, a biography of America’s greatest defense attorney (2012), and of Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century, the definitive account of House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr.(2002).  His most recent biography, Richard Nixon: The Life, will be released March 28. Farrell is a contributing editor to Politico Magazine and a contributor to The Atlantic, after a prize-winning career as a journalist

State Rep. Stratton Opposes Proposal to Diminish Health Benefits for 40,000 Seniors

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on State Rep. Stratton Opposes Proposal to Diminish Health Benefits for 40,000 Seniors

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, is opposing a new Rauner Administration proposal that will reduce the health benefits for 40,000 elderly residents by causing them to change to a new, untested program, remove criminal background check requirements for caregivers and increase administrative bloat.


“Many low-income seniors live in my district, and ensuring they have access to high quality health care services that do not make them go bankrupt is a major part of my promise of social and economic justice,” said Stratton. “That is why reading proposals that cut the health care programs low-income seniors benefit from is sickening.”


Gov. Rauner’s Department on Aging released a proposal recently to remove 40,000 seniors from the state’s Community Care Program and place them in a new program called the Community Reinvestment Program (CRP). Since CRP lacks the standards critical to ensure senior health outcomes and financial security, senior groups expressing concern include AARP and the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers.


The administration’s draft rules for CRP also remove regulations requiring caregivers to undergo criminal background checks. Under the Community Care Program, companies must screen caretakers to ensure they do not have a history of engaging in fraud, and that all employees in contact with seniors do not have criminal or sexual convictions.


“The Department on Aging’s proposed Community Reinvestment Program is a cost cutting, political tactic at the expense of over 40,000 of Illinois most vulnerable senior citizens, and their loved ones,” said Ryan Gruenenfelder, AARP Illinois Director of Advocacy. “The proposed program hinges on service availability by geographic regions, on the continuation of budget appropriations, and the sole authority of the Department to amend eligibility standards with zero legislative oversight. The proposed program is a catalyst for seniors to face premature nursing home placement. Our state can implement common sense, compassionate and cost-effective reforms to maintain our state’s current Community Care Program without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of thousands of Illinois’ greatest generation.”


Rauner’s Department on Aging is using an administrative rulemaking process to advance their plan without receiving input or approval from the Legislature. Stratton is urging residents to call the Department on Aging at 800-252-8966 and speak out against the proposed cuts to the Community Care Program.



Casting is Complete for “Spamilton,” the Smash Off-Broadway Hit Beginning at the Royal George Theatre March 3

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on Casting is Complete for “Spamilton,” the Smash Off-Broadway Hit Beginning at the Royal George Theatre March 3

The All-Chicago Cast Includes Donterrio Johnson, Adam LaSalle, Michelle Lauto, Eric Andrew Lewis, Yando Lopez and David Robbins

CHICAGO, IL – “Spamilton,” the critically acclaimed off-Broadway parody of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s sensation, “Hamilton,” has set casting for its regional premiere in Chicago at the Royal George Theatre (1641 N. Halsted). Created by Tony Award honoree Gerard Alessandrini, the mastermind behind “Forbidden Broadway,” the “smart, silly and compulsively funny show” (The New York Times) features an all-Chicago ensemble including Donterrio Johnson, Adam LaSalle, Michelle Lauto, Eric Andrew Lewis, Yando Lopez and David Robbins. “Spamilton” begins performances Friday, March 3 at the Royal George Theatre’s Cabaret/Studio Theatre. The Press Opening is set for Sunday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($59 – $99) can be purchased at the Royal George Theatre’s box office online or by calling 312.988.9000.

“We couldn’t have been more thrilled by Chicago’s pool of incredible talent,” said Alessandrini.  “We hope ‘Spamilton’ will be as lively and hysterically funny as ‘Hamilton’ is provocative. It is a tall order, but we are going to try to make Chicago a happier town than ever and keep the audience roaring with delight.”

“Spamilton” celebrates, roasts and eviscerates the Broadway blockbuster with its versatile cast of six. In its world-premiere production off-Broadway in New York, the show has been extended three times and is now in its fifth smash month at the Triad. The New York production earned rave reviews across the board, hailed as “the next best thing to seeing ‘Hamilton’” (The New York Times), “so infectiously fun,” (The Hollywood Reporter) and had Lin-Manuel Miranda exclaiming “I laughed my brains out!”

In addition to Alessandrini, the creative team includes Gerry McIntyre (Choreography), Dustin Cross (Costume Design), Fred Barton (Musical Director), and Richard Danley and Fred Barton (Musical Arrangements). “Spamilton” is produced in Chicago by John Freedson, David Zippel, Gerard Alessandrini, Margaret Cotter and Liberty Theatricals, in association with JAM Theatricals. Chuckie Benson is the understudy for the production.

The performance schedule for “Spamilton” is as follows: Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

About the Artists of “Spamilton”

Gerard Alessandrini (Creator) is best known for creating and writing all 25 editions of “Forbidden Broadway” in New York, Los Angeles, London and around the world. Alessandrini was featured in the original 1982 cast of “Forbidden Broadway” and can be heard on four of the 12 “Forbidden Broadway” cast albums. He also sings on the soundtracks of the Disney classics “Aladdin” and “Pocahontas.” Television credits include writing comedy specials for Bob Hope, Angela Lansbury and Carol Burnett. Directing credits include Maury Yeston’s musical “In the Beginning.” Recent musicals which he co-wrote and/or directed include “Madame X” (NYMF 2011) and “The Nutcracker and I,” featuring a complete Tchaikovsky score with all new lyrics by Alessandrini. As a director, he’s currently working on an upcoming revue focusing on the songs of Maury Yeston entitled “Anything Can Happen (In the Theater).” Alessandrini is the recipient of an Obie Award, two Lucille Lortel Awards, a Lifetime Achievement award from the Drama League, and seven Drama Desk Awards. Alessandrini was also awarded an Honorary Tony Award for Excellence in the Theatre.

Donterrio Johnson (Male Two) is an alumni of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy of Los Angeles and an Artistic Ensemble Member of Pride Films and Plays. Johnson’s theater credits include “Annie Warbucks” (Theatre at the Center); “Next To Normal” and “Urinetown” (Boho Theatre); “The Hundred Dresses” and “Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money” (Chicago Children’s Theatre); “Sweeney Todd” (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); “Murder Ballad” (Cardinal Stage); “Lookingglass Alice” (‪Lookingglass Theatre); “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Theo Ubique); “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Golden Boy” (Porchlight Music Theatre); “The Color Purple” and “Avenue Q” (Mercury Theatre); “Rent” (Brightside Theatre); “Under a Rainbow Flag” (Pride Films and Plays); “Hairspray” (SRO Productions); and “Urinetown,” “Aladdin The Musical,” “‪Into The Woods” and “Kennedy The Musical” (Broadway Workshop). His TV credits include USA’s “Sirens.”

Adam LaSalle’s (Pianist/King George) Chicago musical direction and piano credits include “24 Words” (Stage 773); “Nunsense” (Beverly Arts Center); “Rebel” (Theatre Wit); and a number of revues, concerts, and cabarets at the Promontory and as a regular at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret in Wicker Park. Some favorite roles he’s performed include Jesus in “Godspell,” Tommy Albright in “Brigadoon” and the Pirate King in “Pirates of Penzance.” LaSalle has also accompanied and music directed with Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square Musical Theatre Education Program, The Chicago Children’s Choir, ChiArts, SummerSing’s International Choral Festival in Cork City, Ireland and a number of musicals for the Souza Scholarship Theatre Program in Orange County, New York.

Michelle Lauto’s (Female Performer) recent credits include “In the Heights” (Porchlight Music Theatre); “Xanadu” (American Theater Company); “35mm” (Circle Theatre); “The Boy From Oz” (Pride Films and Plays); and “Murder Ballad” (Bailiwick Chicago). Lauto is a proud graduate of The Second City Training Center Conservatory.

Eric A. Lewis (Male Three) was last seen in Theatre at the Center’s production of “My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra.” His Chicago credits include “The Little Mermaid,” “In the Heights” and “Tommy” (Paramount Theatre); “Dreamgirls” (Porchlight Music Theatre); “Once Upon a People” (Black Ensemble Theater); “Parade” (BoHo Theatre); “How to Succeed in Business,” “Sister Act” and “Suessical the Musical” (Marriott Theatre); and “Dreamgirls” (Milwaukee Repertory Theater).

Yando Lopez (Male One) was last seen in “The Christians” at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Recent credits include “In the Heights” and “Sondheim on Sondheim” (Porchlight Music Theatre); “Little Shop of Horrors” (American Blues Theatre); “In the Heights” (Paramount Theatre); and “Barney the Elf” (Other Theatre Company). Lopez has also worked with Court Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Emerald City, Brown Paper Box, Black Ensemble Theatre and Goodman Theatre. Lopez is a proud Northwestern alum.

David Robbins (Male Four) is a Chicago native, an alumni of The Chicago Academy for the Arts and attended Baldwin Wallace University. Robbins’ regional credits include “Memphis,” “Rent,” “Once on this Island,” “Avenue Q” and “Phantom of the Opera.”

For more information, visit Spamilton.com.

Photos: Cast members.

Agenda Announced for Illinois State Board of Education Video-Conference Meeting Feb. 22

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on Agenda Announced for Illinois State Board of Education Video-Conference Meeting Feb. 22

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video-conference in Chicago and Springfield Wednesday, Feb. 22.   

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Superintendent’s office no later than one day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent’s office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.

Chairman James Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.


State Board of Education Meeting

Feb. 22, 2017

9 a.m.


Chicago Location:        ISBE Video Conference Room, 14th Floor

100 W. Randolph St., Chicago


Springfield Location:   ISBE Video Conference Room, 3rd Floor

100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.



I.      Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance

A.   Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means

II.    Swearing-In of Board Members

III.   Public Participation

IV.  Election of Board Officers

V.    Superintendent’s Report – Consent Agenda

A.   *Approval of Minutes

1.    Plenary Minutes: January 24, 2017

B.   *Rules for Initial Review

1.    Part 25

C.   *Rules for Adoption

1.    Part 1

D.   *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million


2.    KIDStech University of California-Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research Center (BEAR Center)

E.   *2016 Spring Waiver Report

F.    *Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriation Transfer from Special Education Personnel to Special Education Transportation

G.   * Settlement Agreement in the Matter of the Chicago Urban League, et al. v. Illinois State Board of Education

End of Consent Agenda

VI.  Discussion Items

A.   District Oversight Update

B.   Legislative Update

C.   Budget Update

D.   Every Student Succeeds Act Update

E.   Other Items for Discussion

VII. Announcements & Reports

  1. Superintendent’s/Senior Staff Announcements
  2. Chairman’s Report
    1. Appoint Chair for Finance and Audit Committee
    2. Appoint Chair for Education Policy Planning Committee
  1. Member Reports

VIII.            Information Items

  1. Fiscal & Administrative Reports (available online at https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education-Fiscal-and-Administrative-Reports.aspx)

IX.  Closed Session (as needed)

X.    Adjourn

Harper Fights for Reducing Financial Burden on Low-Income Families

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on Harper Fights for Reducing Financial Burden on Low-Income Families

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is advocating for measures that would provide working families with financial relief with the aim to reduce crime and improve the economic climate of low-income communities.


“Many people resort to crime because they are put under financial strain that they cannot easily get out of,” Harper said. “To reduce crime and violence we have to give people more opportunities to succeed, which can only be done by improving schools and creating new jobs that are located in the community.”


Harper is including in her legislative agenda initiatives that would provide working people with the necessary resources to prosper, such as House Bill 2609, which would create a low-income assessment freeze homestead exemption. The legislation would freeze the amount of property taxes that low-income families pay and reduce their financial burden.


“Many families in low-income communities cannot pay their bills because their wages are not high enough,” Harper said. “Far too many people do not acknowledge that the solution to reducing crime is through improving the economic environment for the people who live in the communities that are most affected by it. This cannot be a conversation that is ignored any longer, and I will continue advocating for policies that address the true issues.”



“That’s So Raven” Actress is Back on TV in New Show About Johnny Carson

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 Comments Off on “That’s So Raven” Actress is Back on TV in New Show About Johnny Carson

Iconic television actress T’Keyah Crystal Keymah joins cast of Seeso’s “There’s…Johnny!”

T'Keyah Crystal Kemah

Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) – After making us laugh for so many years, iconic television actress T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh is gracing the small screen again in a starring role on Seesos new, straight to series production, Theres… Johnny! Created by Paul Reiser (Mad About You) and David Steven Simon (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Mad About You, Wayans Bros.), the show, set in the early 1970s is a behind the scenes look at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Keymáh plays Carsons secretary and chief gatekeeper, Roz.

Best known for her hilarious characters and impressions on the groundbreaking sketch comedy show, In Living Color, and her other starring roles on Cosby, and Thats So Raven, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh, is enjoying sinking her teeth into this powerful new character.

At a time where the value of women seems to be in question again, I am loving my role as a woman who handles her business in a mans world.

Keymáh, who took a hiatus from television work, is happy that Theres… Johnny! came at just the right time.

Like everyone else, I was a huge fan of Johnny Carson. Though I never got a chance to be on his show, I now feel connected to him, says Keymáh. Thats pretty cool. Also pretty cool is the fact that television has evolved to the point that we can spotlight a game changing show through this exciting new technology.

Some of Keymáhs other recent credits include: SYFYs cult favorite franchise Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, and the quirky indie comedy What Happened Last Night?

While the highly anticipated Theres… Johnny! has not released an official air date, fans are excited to see more from T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh. Keymáh is repped by Stewart Talent Agency.

Photo: T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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