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Isabel’s morning briefing

Thursday, Sep 14, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Here you go…

    * Tribune | Ex-Speaker Michael Madigan’s work with DC public relations firm sparks #MeToo anger, apology: In 2018, as the #MeToo movement was sweeping the nation and the speaker was facing accusations he ran an office for years plagued by sexual harassment, Madigan employed the Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm SKDK for guidance. The speaker met with Anita Dunn, a Democratic PR guru who helped found SKDK and currently advises President Joe Biden, and Madigan paid the firm more than $200,000 through his campaign fund, court documents and state records showed. At the same time, however, SKDK was working with the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, a women’s advocacy group, to help arrange local public relations support for a former Madigan campaign worker who was the first to call out the mistreatment of women inside Madigan’s state and political organizations.

    * Sun-Times | Top Biden adviser was advising Madigan on #MeToo crisis while her firm was helping woman suing former speaker: While Dunn was advising Madigan, Hampton received support in her case from Dunn’s firm, which partnered with the anti-harassment charity Time’s Up. Dunn’s work for Madigan was specifically focused on responding to allegations stemming from Hampton’s lawsuit. As a result, SKDK (the D stands for “Dunn”) was on the one hand supporting Hampton in her harassment and retaliation case through its partnership with Time’s Up, and on the other getting paid by a defendant in that very lawsuit.

    * Crain’s | Bears hold off stadium-subsidy efforts in Springfield — for now: Bears CEO Kevin Warren issued a statement Wednesday afternoon declaring that the franchise won’t pursue such support from Springfield during the legislature’s upcoming fall session as the team continues to explore the possibility of continuing to play its home games in Chicago or pursuing a stadium project in another suburb.

    * WAND | DCFS grilled by Illinois lawmakers for enforcing nonexistent daycare policy: DCFS allowed assistants at daycare centers to watch children under two for up to three hours per day over the past few years to help address the worker shortage throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency tried to cut that time frame down to 90 minutes per day, but state lawmakers rejected that rule in July.

    * Shaw Local | State Rep. Jeff Keicher to seek reelection in 2024 for Illinois House 70th District: State Rep. Jeff Keicher, a Republican lawmaker who lives in Sycamore, announced Wednesday he’ll seek reelection in 2024 to represent the 70th District which includes portions of DeKalb, Kane and McHenry counties.

    * Pantagraph | Sharon Chung announces run for 2nd term in Illinois House: During a campaign announcement on Wednesday at Miller Park, the former McLean County Board member said she is working to invest more in schools, job training and infrastructure, and that Illinois can be both a fiscally responsible state and a compassionate one.

    * Tribune | Supervisor denies DCFS workers were ‘lazy’ at endangerment trial in death of 5-year-old AJ Freund: [ Polovin’s attorney, Matthew McQuaid, Ruzicka] said Polovin had a reputation and history of closing cases hastily without being thorough, and she counseled him about it — but when asked if the defendants were “lazy,” Ruzicka replied, “Oh, no.”

    * Tribune | Fermilab’s $1 billion accelerator project remains on hold during investigation into May accident that injured construction worker: James Daniels, 46, fell from the top of a two-story wall during his first day on the job. Hospitalized for several months, he has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Fermi Research Alliance, which operates the site, as well as the contractor and subcontractors in charge of the construction project.

    * Sun-Times | Delta-8, other mind-altering hemp products would be tightly restricted in Chicago under new proposal: Downtown Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said he plans to introduce an ordinance at Thursday’s City Council meeting to address “a public health crisis” that has emerged as sales of the trendy substances have ramped up.

    * The Southern | What are STAR bonds and how are they used?: STAR bonds are an incentive that use the state’s incremental sales tax and local incremental sales tax within a STAR bond district to encourage a developer to transform the area into a retail and entertainment destination. STAR bonds mature in 23 years. They are paid from the incremental sales tax, or the part of the tax that grows with development. Risk is assumed by the purchaser or the bonds. The city and its taxpayers assume no risk.

    * Center Square | Some parents would quit job to home school if Invest in Kids not extended: Sabrina Sibby of southside Chicago has four boys involved in the program. She said if the program is cut, she may have to quit her job to home school her children to avoid placing them back into Chicago Public Schools. “I probably would opt for homeschooling,” Sibby told The Center Square. “That would be difficult for me because then I would have to quit my job and work on making sure he gets the things he needs to get. I’m still sure it would be a financial burden on me because I would have to purchase certain things.”

    * Sun-Times | Private school leaders fight to save Invest in Kids Act scholarships: Backed by Republican lawmakers and local religious leaders, the program was ultimately slipped into what became the school funding bill in 2017 — which was intended to put new money for education into the state’s poorest and neediest districts. The Invest in Kids Act provides a tax credit of 75 cents for every dollar donated to fund scholarships for Illinois students from low-income families to attend private schools.

    * Vox | The unconstitutional plan to stop women from traveling out of state for an abortion, explained: Notably, this list of anti-abortion localities includes Mitchell County, Texas, a sparse community of about 9,000 people. This matters because Interstate 20, the route that many people traveling from Dallas to New Mexico to receive an abortion will take, passes through Mitchell County. Several other counties with major highways or airports are also considering similar laws.

    * Crain’s | Arwady visits Lori Lightfoot at Harvard: In a statement to Crain’s late Wednesday, Lightfoot said Arwady participated in a discussion with students about her experience leading Chicago through the COVID-19 pandemic. “Dr. Arwady used her experience leading a big city health department during the height of COVID as a backdrop for a discussion about macro and micro public health questions around preparedness, establishing a single point of truth to help people cut through misinformation and disinformation, and the importance of developing strong internal and external communication and collaboration systems, all with an eye toward equity, among other topics,” Lightfoot said in the statement. “Students were thrilled to hear from and be in dialogue with such a nationally recognized public health leader.”

    * AP | Federal judge declares DACA is illegal; issue likely to be decided by US Supreme Court: “While sympathetic to the predicament of DACA recipients and their families, this Court has expressed its concerns about the legality of the program for some time,” Hanen wrote in his 40-page ruling. “The solution for these deficiencies lies with the legislature, not the executive or judicial branches. Congress, for any number of reasons, has decided not to pass DACA-like legislation … The Executive Branch cannot usurp the power bestowed on Congress by the Constitution - even to fill a void.”

    * Capitol News Illinois | State Fair reports nine-year attendance high: The state Department of Agriculture, which hosts the fair each year, reported on Tuesday that about 708,000 people attended the fair, an 11 percent increase from 2022. Department officials attributed the increase to good weather, renovations of fairgrounds facilities and a discounted admission fee for one of the fair days.

       

30 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 8:39 am:

    “Some parents would quit job to home school if Invest in Kids not extended”

    It’s fascinating watching all these stories, and how every single one of them completely glosses over the fact that the richest organization on the planet isn’t stepping up to help the families in their own schools.

    It’s like Elon complaining the person in front of him in line isn’t buying his coffee. And then running a story about all the problems the person in front of him is causing him, and why it’s no big deal to go ahead and just buy him a coffee.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 9:18 am:

    ===“Some parents would quit job to home school if Invest in Kids not extended”===

    So? And?

    “Merica, amirite?”

    If the schooling is so great, the return is so great for the *students*, why o why can’t these schools merely get these altruistic folks to…

    … actually… 100%… all in…

    … Invest in Kids? “Why?”

    Good luck with that homeschooling to own someone. The altruistic rich folks will applaud you, lol


  3. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 9:24 am:

    =“Merica, amirite?”=

    Yep. Hard for me to care. I could get behind the scholarships if those getting the money had to follow the same rules as our school. That would be kind of fun.


  4. - H-W - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 9:28 am:

    I guess it would be appropriate to ask, what were these parents doing before they were gifted scholarships? Home schooling, or using the public schools in their community.

    For rural Illinoisans, there really isn’t any option per se. Invest in Kids may serve some suburban kids and city kids, but private schools are largely unavailable for rural kids. In that context, this program does indirectly discriminate.

    At the same time, 9000 is a very small fraction of a percentage of Illinois children benefiting from the tax write-offs created for affluent citizens who do not want to pay taxes to the state.

    Invest in Kids is just not a relevant program for the vast majority of students, and is dependent upon the “generosity” of those able to direct where they wish the taxes to go.

    If the affluent wish to create scholarships, they always can (and do). But allowing them to avoid tax burdens for doing so is not in the interest of the State, nor its citizens.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 9:29 am:

    The thing about homeschooling, which I’m not wholly opposed or find bad merely as it’s existing…

    … the thing is that homeschooled children then find they want to participate in extra curricular, at the public school, which, again, I have no problem with that… so, again, why would I even care if the “threat” is to homeschool kids not getting scholarships that wealthy folks can’t seem to donate to the kids, but those institutions sure want the program to continue.

    Advocates so scared of the plan’s demise should start a whole fund “for the kids” in direct response to the hole that could be left.


  6. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 9:40 am:

    Go ahead and homeschool your 4 kids. You’re totally going to actually follow through on that in real life. It’s just like flipping a switch, one day you go to work for income while your kids go to school, the next day you just stay home playing pretend school and all the bills magically stay paid.
    Totally how it works out there, just ask Center Square.


  7. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 10:00 am:

    =The thing about homeschooling, which I’m not wholly opposed or find bad merely as it’s existing…=

    Agreed, it is a parental right, we have families that homeschool but access driver’s ed and some lectives like band. I have no issue with that and wouldn’t stop it even if I could.

    Participation in extracurriculars is harder and we don’t allow it (it is allowable, but only a small percentage of schools allow it). My issue is accountability. Homeschool students are not accountable for the same academic requirements and often it is the parents doing the grading. Plus, it is a privilege that we can offer our students.


  8. - Fairycat - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 10:32 am:

    Why is Center Square treated as a legit news source?


  9. - Drury's Missing Clock - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 10:50 am:

    Ultimately, public education is the bedrock of our society and the “choice” to opt children out shouldn’t exist. Segregating your child from the greater public is just anti-social behavior.


  10. - H-W - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 10:50 am:

    @ FairyCat

    The story is bigger than Center Square. I get my local news from the Quad Cities, and the local station ran a full length story, sympathetic to the program. The two or three minute story did not mention any controversies with the program. Just parents concerned they may lose their scholarships.


  11. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 10:59 am:

    Homeschooling—-
    Oh, if I could be a mouse in the room and hear parents teach active voice, passive voice and subjunctive mood. Also, explain ways to write an infinitive phrase, a gerund phrase, or a participial phrase.

    Let’s not forget about writing sentences with a subordinate clause and an independent clause. Avoiding run-on sentences or comma splices is the lesson for the day.

    Oh boy, oh boy.


  12. - Steve - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:02 am:

    -Ultimately, public education is the bedrock of our society and the “choice” to opt children out shouldn’t exist.-

    Check out Pierce vs. Society of Sisters: one of the most famous U.S. Supreme Court cases.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_v._Society_of_Sisters


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:05 am:

    ===Check out Pierce vs. Society of Sisters===

    That was in 1925

    Not one person here is denying the idea of other institutions exist

    Funding the institutions by a phony plan to Invest in Kids when no one is stopping a soul from altruistically giving money to students is the discussion.


  14. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:33 am:

    ” no one is stopping a soul from altruistically giving money to students is the discussion”

    So I guess every parent stuck in a neighborhood with terrible local public schools can either just take it, or perhaps you would suggest they create a GoFundMe page? Invest in Kids which is totally optional to both donors and recipients was created as a mechanism to provide statewide relief to these kids/parents.


  15. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:33 am:

    ===created as a mechanism===

    And the pass-through organizations still exist. They could continue fundraising.


  16. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:40 am:

    The National Coalition for Public Education (admittedly an advocacy organiztion) reports research showing that more than 80% of students awarded vouchers were already in private school.

    Meaning that the vouchers are subsidizing families with sufficient income to send their kids to private schools without a voucher.

    If that research can be backed up it would counter the idea that school vouchers are helping mostly lower income families get away from awful public schools.

    https://www.ncpecoalition.org/toolkit


  17. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:45 am:

    I’m sure Donnie wants taxpayers to support low-income families in all areas such as housing, health insurance, daycare, etc. We all know right-wing support for this program is really just to funnel tax dollars to these private religious schools and helping the poor families is just pretext.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:49 am:

    ===So I guess===

    There’s no guessing.

    Rich folks can, no one is stopping them, donate to “save the kids” all they want. Have at it, the schools should use this as a way to get that cash.

    See, this part is adorable, and why I keep asking the same question(s)

    ===Invest in Kids which is totally optional to both donors and recipients was created as a mechanism to provide statewide relief to these kids/parents===

    Why don’t the donors now merely donate altruistically seeing how the program is, if the program ends? Why stop donating?

    Why are the schools seemingly more concerned about the money than the kids?

    - Donnie Elgin -, this might be one of those times you find… “regrettable”?


  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:49 am:

    ===really just to funnel tax dollars to these private religious schools===

    It’s a 75 percent income tax credit. Reason enough.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:53 am:

    ===It’s a 75 percent income tax credit. Reason enough.===

    There it is.

    The reason isn’t this idea of kids, school, otherwise… there might not be that concern money will dry up for the schools… the tax credit is (one of) the draw(s)

    The measure isn’t how good the education is, it’s the tax break others enjoy. Otherwise…


  21. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:54 am:

    The National Coalition for Public Education (admittedly an advocacy organiztion) reports research showing that more than 80% of students awarded vouchers were already in private school.

    That is not necessarily indicative of much - I have sent three kids through catholic schools k-12. I am lucky enough to be able to afford to pay full tuition/fees. Having been on school committees/boards I know first-hand that many kids attend school on either vastly reduced tuition due to low family income, have grandparents pay for tuition, work part-time at the school for reduced tuition, or use a very long-term payment/repayment plan.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 11:58 am:

    ===Having been on school committees/boards I know first-hand that many kids attend school on either vastly reduced tuition due to low family income, have grandparents pay for tuition, work part-time at the school for reduced tuition, or use a very long-term payment/repayment plan.===

    Ok.

    I dunno what that means in a context to Invest in Kids

    Seems like more of an understanding it’s about the tax break and the money to the school for another student


  23. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    “I dunno what that means in a context to Invest in Kids”

    My response was to an earlier post made by Friendly Bob- try keeping up.


  24. - H-W - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 12:06 pm:

    A long time ago, I published a short piece in a journal about how “vouchers” do not really lower the cost of attending private schools. Rather, then tend to increase the cost of private school education. They do so (raise prices) to the point where those who previously could afford tuition can still afford tuition when vouchers are used. On the other hand, those who could not afford tuition eventually cannot afford tuition because the prices have gone up.

    Voucher approaches do not benefit the state, nor the citizenry of Illinois in the long run. In the long run, they only funnel state treasuries to private school budgets.


  25. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 12:07 pm:

    It’s a credit, but without the credit more taxes would be collected which could be used for legitimate public purposes.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===My response was to an earlier post made by Friendly Bob- try keeping up.===

    lol, I did, as you undercut your own argument.

    Read to yourself that response and how the “need” versus the “want” is marginalized


  27. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 12:42 pm:

    === Meaning that the vouchers are subsidizing families with sufficient income to send their kids to private schools without a voucher. ===

    Chances are these families were receiving some kind of assistance from their school - like big shoulders or some similar program. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these families can “afford” the school their children are attending - their financial aid just came from a different source.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===Chances are===

    That’s doing quite a bit of lifting without a cite.

    Think on this;

    A good look at what this goes for schools could be how many were first getting reduced tuition that are now getting a full scholarship.

    The education and such are the same.

    The monies to the institution are different.

    Maybe that’s why schools are more perplexed than they might want to appear.


  29. - Hannibal Lecter - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    === That doing quite a bit of lifting without a cite. ===

    https://tax.illinois.gov/programs/investinkids/faqs.html#faq-item-faq-0-4

    Who are eligible students:

    Eligible students are members of a household whose federal adjusted gross income the year before he or she initially receives a scholarship under this program, as determined by IDOR, does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level and, once the child receives a scholarship, does not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level. The student must be eligible to attend a public elementary school or high school in Illinois the semester immediately preceding the semester for which he or she first receives a scholarship or is starting school in Illinois for the first time when he or she first receives a scholarship. Students must reside in Illinois while receiving a scholarship. For more information on federal poverty levels, visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.

    Most of the Catholic high schools I am familiar with have tuition that is at least $12k-$13k a year per kid. Logix would tell you that if these families were in Catholic School before, they were probably receiving some kind of financial assistance.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 23 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===Logix would tell you that if===

    Here’s what you wanted.

    ===Chances are===

    You are still speculating to the “what”.

    I mean, look at this anecdotal take, to your thought, unrelated…

    ===Having been on school committees/boards I know first-hand that many kids attend school on either vastly reduced tuition due to low family income, have grandparents pay for tuition, work part-time at the school for reduced tuition, or use a very long-term payment/repayment plan.===

    What Invest in Kids does is help the institutions get full tuition where either a reduced rate exists, a payment plan is in place, now the same student, same education, now the student is seen as a bigger dollar to the school, and not on a payment plan.

    That’s not school driven, that’s a fiscal windfall driven by a tax break, that seemingly the driver to the donations… not education… because there no one today looking altruistically to help the kids if the plan ends.

    If you have the exact numbers, I’d be interested in that.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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