Ben Joravsky gives deserved kudos  to Dan Mihalopoulos for his work exposing financial shenanigans at UNO Charter Schools (though after a decent interval, the state dollars are again flowing).
The Sun-Times has also taken credit  for a state probe of UNO finances.
But we shouldn’t forget what got this ball rolling — a demand back in January by Parents United for Responsible Education , joined by parents in Pilsen, that the state inspector general investigate UNO finances. (Here’s the press release .)
PURE emphasized UNO’s reliance on financing by tax-exempt bonds — and the growing debt-per-student costs that resulted. It looks a bit like a pyramid scheme, like a house of cards that would collapse if UNO failed to keep expanding.
Which is a question that should be considered — if one of these operators goes belly-up, who picks up the pieces?
PURE is a small, scrappy advocacy group with a long history. In the last couple years it’s taken on the two most politically connected charter schools with impressive results. Last year, a report by PURE and Voices of Youth in Chicago Education  got the Noble Network on the front pages  for harsh discipline policies involving extensive fines and pushing students out.