Pause for clout-connected charter school in S. Side TIF district

Updated 10 March 2022

Funding for a South Side charter school connected to indicted former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has reportedly hit a roadblock.

AGC campus
Illustration of proposed AGC campus.
Source: city of Chicago.

The school, Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC), has planned to expand with a new campus at 4930-5004 W. 44th St., in the middle of the proposed Cicero/Stevenson Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) District.

AGC's six-acre expansion was reportedly funded by a $31 million earmark within the state's 2021 Rebuild Illinois capital program. The school's state grant, according to an investigation by the Better Government Association (BGA), "came after the Academy in 2019 hired Jeffrey Glass, a former top Madigan state employee turned lobbyist."

According to the BGA, the office of Gov. JB Pritzker said, "At the request of members of the General Assembly who voted for the capital plan, the administration will freeze the funding for the projects outlined" in a March 7 letter from nine state legislators who slammed the alleged clouted origins of the school project, plus three others.

After the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ill. issued a 22-count indictment of Madigan this month, the state legislators questioned whether the four projects are a "benefit of the community and the taxpayers or whether they were advanced at the behest of Madigan on behalf of or to benefit his private law clients or other politically-connected individuals or entities."

Then, as reported by Politico, after strong pushback from their colleagues with ties to the projects, the nine legislators retracted their objections in another letter to Pritzker.

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