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September 11, 2008


a near perfect model of politically organized networks, collaboratives and consortia, funded (then and now)

Part of me says mention the Chicago Public Education Fund to explain the "now" part of this statement, but my evil twin says it would be a distraction and disrupt the narrative. A FABULOUS narrative, by the way.

I'll keep reading...


Good idea! The fact that CAC has morphed into CPEF plays straight into the message that all this stuff is important now, it's not just history. I may fiddle a little with the wording you mentioned - but I'm also thinking CPEF might actually have more impact if I use it in the last (warning) paragraph on Ayers. Is he still connected to CPEF in any discernible way? It suddenly occurs to me that instead of saying that the Ayers' curriculum is coming to a "town" near you, I should have said "neighborhood" near you (as in "just a guy from my neighborhood')!

Gack -- Sorry about the captcha check. Can't believe I enabled it on my own blog.

Barva, JMH. Excellent work. I agree with bad about CPEF - if you pluck a little of their buzzword BS about "entrepreneurial philanthropy" apart you quickly come back to the radical societal change garbage.


CAC gave a total of $3,726,756 to CPEF. Some was in typical grant form, but $1,659,013 was simply a reduction in assets of CAC on page 2 of the 1999 tax return, which is very odd.

LUN for 1999 tax return


Three bits from the 1998 Annual Report may explain it:

The Annenberg Foundation's support is critical for the Challenge's expanded challenge to Chicago area corporations and individuals to support school reform through a $2 million grant to the new Chicago Public Education Fund
It looks like the Annenberg Foundation either gave them money for a grant to CPEF or approved a CAC grant of an original $2 million. This may shed a little light on the rest:
By the end of 1998 the Chicago Public Education Fund (CPEF) , though not formally incorporated, had become a reality.
By the end of 1998 over $800,000 in new funds had been committed from new sources - individuals and foundations which have not to date provided financial support for school reform.
If CPEF had not been incorporated, perhaps they couldn't actually raise funds on their own yet. It looks like CAC was raising funds for them and conceivably holding them or collecting them for transfer once CPEF was incorporated as a charitable entity.

The whole setup of CPEF seems odd to me -- especially as it relates to matching funds.

From the 1997 Interim report:

CAC has retained an experienced fundraising consultant, Marianne Philbin, who is assisting with the full range of development duties needed to identify and raise the funds needed by the end of 1999.
Then in the 1998 Annual Report, they describe CPEF :
It is the vehicle through which and for which new and increased funding , is being raised by the Challenge for school reform efforts meeting the Challenge's crteria for matching funds.
In 1999 Annual Rpt. they say:
By the end o f 1999 the Chi cago Annenberg Challenge completed its matching grant requirements to qualify for the $49.2 million grant awarded from the Annenber g Foundation . A total of $ 13,848,000 in private matching funds was certified in August 1999 bringing the overall total o f pri vate matching funds raised by the Chal l enge to date to $51,691,400. The Chal l enge will complete one final round o f private mat chi ng funds in 2000, to count private mat chi ng funds awarded through cal endar year 1999 . It is expect ed that the final certification will add between $10 and $15 million in additional private matching funds to the Chal l enge' s total, far exceeding the required private matching funds requirement o f $49.2 million. Significant increases in 1999 over 1998 private matching funds were noted in several private and corporate foundations : DeWitt/Wallace; R .R. Donnelly Co.; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation ; New Prospect Foundation; Northern Trust Company; Prince Charitable Trusts; The Joyce Foundat i on . The Challenge also compl et ed its public matching funds requirement in 1999 by certifying $18,399.000 in public funds . The total amount o f public mat chi ng funds raised by December 31, 1999 was $50, 655, 500 .

A significant part o f the Cha l l e nge ' s fundraising efforts in 1999 was dedicated to the implementation o f the Chi cago Public Education Fund (CPEF), a new ci t ywi de public foundation created by the Challenge to c a r r y o n system-wide school reform. The Challenge secured close to $2 million in new commi t ment s and grants for the new Fund by the end o f 1999, in addi t i on to pledging $2 million towards its creation. All funds actually committed to the new Fund by December 31, 1999 will be counted as mat chi ng funds by the Challenge in its final private matching funds certification in earl y 2000 The Challenge also raised an additional $500,000 during 1999 to support compl et i on and some expansion o f its evaluation program. Those funds will be counted as mat chi ng funds in our final private mat chi ng grant certification in earl y 2000. Funds wer e awarded by The Spencer Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, and Woods Fund o f Chi cago to support expansion o f the eval uat i on work in two critical areas: cont i nued assessment o f student tasks and work product s, and continued school visits and research to identify successful school i mprovement efforts . It is expected that the John D . and Cat her i ne T. MacArthur will j o i n the ot her three foundations in early 2000 with a final $50, 000 grant to complete the evaluation funding.

Aren't they essentially feeding the money they're ostensibly raising to match the Annenberg grant into a separate $100 million organization which will not be subject to any oversight by the Annenberg Foundation? In other words, thye're using the legitimacy provided by the Annenberg grant to raise funds for their own organization. Legally dissolving the Challenge as a charitable corporation in Jan. of 2002, would also officially dissolve their relationship with the Annenberg Foundation, no? I'm beginning to wonder about their evaluation money too, but that's another subject.

My new draft of Radical Planks really sucks! I need to take a hatchet to a lot of what I added because it just meanders all over the place, but I keep getting snagged in this incredibly incestuous spider web!

A couple of stray thoughts about extensions and amendments. In the request for an extension for the 2002 return:

The audit of the financial records has not yet been completed. We respectfully request an extension of the time so that the return can be filed with audited information.
In the request for an extension in 2003:
Additional information is needed to complete the return. Although we have tried to obtain the information, our files are still incomplete. We respectfully request an extension of time in order to resolve the open issues and file a proper tax return.

I remember thinking there was something funky about 2002, but right now I can't recall exactly what it was. Anyway, I wonder if they were trying to conduct some sort of "final" audit connected with the dissolution of the corporation, and also wonder if it's significant that we do not have either the final filing of the completed 2002 return, nor the amended 2002 return that was filed years later.

Attached to the 2003 Amended return (P. 13 of the PDF) is a copy the certified letter indicates that both the amended returns for both 2002 and 2003 were filed in in January 2006!.

I am curious about one thing in the 2003 Amended, Part XIII (on p.8). They listed Undistributed Income of $6,885,271 carried over from 2001, 2002, & 2003 collectively . Subtracting $1,418 "Remaining amount distributed out of corpus" to get a corpus of $6,886,689 which ends up at Line 9, as "Excess distributions carryover to 2004." Most of the carryover (6,801,790) came from 2001 just before the corporation was dissolved in Jan. 2001. While the listed a value of $0 for actual assets, does this mean there was nearly $7 million in unspent "income" still in the pot?

It sure would help if I understood what all these terms actually meant!

You've articulated my concerns much better than I could after seeing the money trail and the discussion of CPEF in the program reports.

I fell into another way CPEF received funds. They (CPEF) were the external partners for some other groups. I'll go through the records and get it all together for you.


After combing through past JOM threads for info that I know has been posted, I've been wondering about revisiting DrJ's idea for a dedicated location for collecting info and comments. I can set up as many Typepad blogs as I want, so I through my last Planks draft and a short post up on a CACkler test site. Take a look and see what you think about the idea. I can always change the name and use it for something else down the road, or trash it. Or we could take it for a shake down cruise to see if it proves useful. I just started thinking about all the work you've done, and the lists you must have hanging around in order to answer everybody's questions all the time, and thought it might be nice to have a central location to post them. I'm thinking of a working site, not one that necessarily needs to look good or finished to go up.

That would be **threw my last Planks draft** of course.

I'm game. One of the things I do at JOM is pay attention to Insty and as soon as he links a thread I throw up CAC stuff with links. One never knows who will be reading and learn enough to vote against Obama. That's why some of my stuff is a repeat or with a slight adjustment of new info. Evil, I know.

How very, very Rovian of you bad! Wish I knew the code for posting a gold star.

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