Taxpayers aren’t footing the bill for Noble Charter Schools investigation

SHARE Taxpayers aren’t footing the bill for Noble Charter Schools investigation

Michael Milkie, the founder and former CEO of Chicago’s Noble Network of Charter Schools. | Rich Hein / Sun-Times

The headline of the Sun-Times’ April 12 article about the Noble Network of Charter Schools — Costs piling up at CPS-funded charter network over CEO who ‘acted inappropriately’ — implies that public funds are being spent in investigating a past CEO.

But, as reporter Lauren FitzPatrick wrote, none of the cost of the ongoing investigation comes from taxpayer dollars. This investigation is not diverting any public funds from teachers and students in the classroom, and it is being completed in a timely, yet comprehensive manner.

Chicago families who choose our schools — and taxpayers who contribute to the education of Noble students — are getting an excellent return on their investment if measured by student achievement and post-high school success.

The fact is that the 12,000 Chicago Public Schools students educated in Noble schools consistently achieve higher test scores, graduation rates, and college acceptances than their fellow students in the CPS system, even while our study body is reflective of CPS as a whole.

We cannot stand for misconduct or abuses of power by anyone at Noble, including our former CEO.

When misconduct occurs, we must act swiftly and decisively because it would be unacceptable to do nothing. That is why I believe a comprehensive and speedy investigation, conducted by an independent firm whose credibility cannot be second-guessed, is in Noble’s best interest.

As FitzPatrick noted, we’ve asked the independent experts who are conducting the investigation to expand the scope of their work by recommending rules and procedures to prevent the alleged behavior from ever happening again.

As the leader of a school network that educates more than 12,000 students, my first responsibility is to the children and families who have chosen Noble for their education. Pursuing this investigation is about delivering for these families. We owe them nothing less.

Constance Jones, chief executive officer, Noble Network of Charter Schools

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Give working-class families a fair shot on taxes

Tax time is a reminder that priorities matter.

The 2017 tax law, which heavily favored large corporations and the wealthy, is a perfect example of putting the wrong things first.

But, the new Working Families Tax Relief Act does it right.

It would significantly boost income for working families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, and give families an additional tax credit for raising young children. That’s more money for basic necessities, home repairs, maintaining a car to get to work, and in some cases, education to get a higher-paying job.

This bill would benefit 46 million families and lift 11 million more children above the poverty line.

Priorities matter. It’s time we fixed our tax laws to give working people and children a fair shot to get ahead. Congress should make expanding the EITC and CTC a priority in any upcoming tax legislation.

Matt Geer, Willow Springs 

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