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The [Friday] Papers

"Anybody who paid a fine from a red-light camera ticket in Jefferson Parish may get a refund, if one council member gets his way," Fox8 in New Orleans reports.

"For three years, cameras were stationed around Jefferson Parish, catching people who ran red lights. $20 million was collected from violators.

"Councilman Chris Roberts wants to refund money to ticket payers because the company that owned the cameras, Redflex, is being investigated for a bribery scheme in Chicago involving a former city official who oversaw their camera program."

I don't have to live in Jefferson Parish to know that's not going to happen, but I appreciate the sentiment.

"Roberts says, "There appears to be some kind of connection between the individuals who represented Redflex in Chicago and those that represented them here on the Jefferson Parish contract."

"In 2010, federal investigators subpoenaed Redflex for documents relating to its contract with Jefferson Parish."

*

COMMENT 1:45 P.M.: From Jerry Stemnock:

If the people who were caught by red-light cameras in Jefferson Parish get their money back because Redflex's management was corrupt, I want a full refund of all the taxes I've paid to Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.

Charity Case
I feel like there's a Mante T'eo joke here about an imaginary accountant, possibly named Roniah Tuiasosopo here, but I'm not entirely sure.

Squeezy Sighting
"After cutting staff and programs, increasing class sizes and raising fees, struggling school districts are facing a possible new budget squeeze: another steep drop in state education aid," the Tribune reports.

"The 3 percent funding cut proposed by Gov. Pat Quinn this week may sound small, but it represents hundreds of millions of dollars to districts that depend on state money to balance their budgets.

"And it would mean a third year in a row that state spending per student has been cut, frustrating districts trying to make ends meet. If the cuts are approved, the per-pupil figure could plunge to $5,452 next school year, down from $6,119 in budget year 2010."

Maybe just ask DCEO for the money.

*

"With a backlog of bills, the state still owes districts $634 million in past state aid payments, according to the latest figures from the Illinois State Board of Education."

Or roughly the size of Argentina's trade surplus.

*

"Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, said that if state money for suburban and downstate teacher pensions is added to the equation, education funding would actually rise next school year."

A) And the last thing we want is education funding rising

B) And if you add Dabrowski's salary to the mix funding would rise too, but it would be just as irrelevant

C) And if you added all the money teachers spend out of their own pockets on books and other classroom supplies, education funding would also actually rise next school year

Math Class
It occurs to me that I should have made the point (as I did here) in Rahm's Class Size Wars that the actual policy discussion is ultimately irrelevant given that the mayor's real motive is to raise the "ideal" class size higher than current reality in CPS in order to prove underutilization so more schools can be closed. And more charters opened.

Rahm's Institutional Racism
"Nine out of ten of the Chicago Public School students potentially affected by school closings this year are black, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found."

I have to admit, my first reaction was that nine out of 10 CPS schools were black anyway, so this wasn't much of a story.

I have to admit that reaction was wrong. Only one in 10 CPS students are white, but the rest of the makeup is split between blacks and Hispanics. I knew that, but I didn't know that.

"The racial breakdown of the schools that could be closed is not in line with the overall demographics of the district. Across the city, 41.7 percent of CPS students are African American, 8.8 percent are white and 44.1 percent are Hispanic."

Why?

"African Americans of all ages left the city and number about 177,000 fewer as of the 2010 census than they did in 2000. During the same decade, the number of whites and Hispanics grew. Many of the schools considered overcrowded are in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods and, therefore, safe from closing or consolidation."

When your school district (and city) is segregated, every move you make will have racial implications.

*

Of course, the city could just forget about school closings for now and focus on more important issues. "Right-sizing" the CPS student's school experience is far more important than "right-sizing" the real estate, no?

Especially given that you can't "right-size" from wrong data:

Indeed, the district claims the city has lost 145,000 children from 2000 to 2010, though school enrollment dropped by about 30,000 during the same decade. CPS cannot explain the disparity in the numbers.

Which is par for the course - and why parents now don't trust CPS and City Hall anymore than teachers.

*

I mean, isn't it a good thing that kids from the poorest neighborhoods (theoretically) end up in smaller classes? The schools are naturally right-sizing themselves before our very eyes! For free!

Ballpark Figures
"The Illinois Tollway this year will go full speed on a $12 billion construction program, touting it as a jobs generator that will put an estimated 120,000 people to work over 15 years," the Tribune reports.

"But while additional billions in increased tolls already are adding up, the job numbers don't.

"A close look at analyses cited by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority only accounts for about 82,500 jobs, and even that relies on 'wildly optimistic and unfounded' assumptions, one independent expert said."

Again, par for the course. Economic development numbers are always inflated. Which is why the benefits Tom Ricketts says he's about to bestow on the city should never be cited by reporters until similarly vetted.

Marina City Math
Floor model malfeasance?

McDonald's Math
From Stand Up! Chicago:

"Today McDonald's worker Norma Marin in Chicago issued the following statement of support for McDonald's guest workers in Pennsylvania who went on strike yesterday, on behalf of Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago:

Fast food and retail workers in Chicago support your fight for fairness on the job. Like low-wage workers across the country, we're standing up for fair pay and treatment in our workplaces - and you deserve the same in yours. We believe that everyone who puts in a hard day's work in the food and retail industries should be able to support their families, especially when companies like McDonald's are making record profits. Your brave decision to take a stand for fairness on the job is a reminder to workers everywhere that together, we can beat the odds.

- Norma Marin, Rock N' Roll McDonald's Employee in Chicago

Cancer Math
"[Schaumburg-based Cancer Treatment Centers of America] is not unique in turning away patients. A lot of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers in the United States decline to treat people who can't pay, or have inadequate insurance, among other reasons. What sets CTCA apart is that rejecting certain patients and, even more, culling some of its patients from its survival data lets the company tout in ads and post on its website patient outcomes that look dramatically better than they would if the company treated all comers," Reuters reports.

"CTCA reports on its website that the percentage of its patients who are alive after six months, a year, 18 months and longer regularly tops national figures. For instance, 60 percent of its non-small-cell lung cancer patients are alive at six months, CTCA says, compared to 38 percent nationally. And 64 percent of its prostate cancer patients are alive at three years, versus 38 percent nationally.

"Such claims are misleading, according to nine experts in cancer and medical statistics whom Reuters asked to review CTCA's survival numbers and its statistical methodology."

Junket Math
Cal City alderman and state rep doubles his fun.

Craft Beer Math
Illinois near bottom of the barrel.

History Of Tha Streetz
West Side.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Tame Impala, Muse, Imagine Dragons, The Summer Set, Cody Copeland and Secondhand Serenade.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Secondhand.



Permalink

Posted on March 8, 2013


MUSIC - Blues Fest 2017.
TV - 'The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'
POLITICS - Minimum Wage Hikes Work.
SPORTS - On Joe Louis, Race And Sports Heroes.

BOOKS - The Blood Of Emmett Till.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Artist As Alchemist.


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