Two people with ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel could be among those to benefit from new, publicly financed charter schools up for approval next week by Chicago Public Schools officials.
A South Side minister allied with the mayor and a real estate broker who is an Emanuel friend could end up as landlords for new schools, collecting rent paid for by taxpayers.
The Chicago Board of Education is set to vote next week on 22 proposed schools being sought by nine charter operators. Those that are approved would come back before the school board in May for final approval.
One of two schools that Des Plaines-based Concept Schools chain hopes to open next school year — at 8522 S. Lafayette Ave. in Chatham — would be the first tenant in a building owned by an arm of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.
The Rev. Charles Jenkins, its pastor, touts on his church’s website how he “filled a key role” on Emanuel’s transition team when the mayor was elected in 2011. Jenkins gave the invocation at Emanuel’s swearing-in. He is an Emanuel appointee to the City Colleges of Chicago board and a board member of the private group New Schools for Chicago, which helps fund new charter schools.
If approved, the Concept school would pay nearly $529,000 in rent its first year, with annual lease payments going up to more than $961,000 by the fifth year, according to documents filed by Concept. It said the payments would go to the Fellowship Educational and Economic Development Corp., a not-for-profit headed by Jenkins. More…