Schoolhouse Beat

Illinois cuts off funding to charter operator over alleged misuse of grant money

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Illinois is cutting off funding to the state’s largest charter-school operator, the United Neighborhood Organization, over insider deals that the state says violated terms of a $98 million grant. The deals involved millions of dollars in state funds that went to companies owned by two brothers of Miguel d’Escoto, who was a high-ranking UNO executive. The brothers were hired as contractors on state-funded school construction projects in Chicago. d’Escoto resigned in February from his $200,000-a-year position as UNO’s No. 2 executive. UNO operates 13 Chicago charter schools, which serve more than 6,500 students.

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