May 11, 2015
Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett was forced to take paid leave in April when a corruption investigation came out in the press. Big surprise – she was using her personal position to make money for her friends. In fact, almost the first thing she did when she got hired in 2012 was to give a no-bid 21 million dollar contract to her former bosses at SUPES Academy for “leadership training” for principals. The owner of that company got Byrd-Bennett her job in the first place.
Principals described this training as “a waste of time,” and “prepackaged, underdeveloped, and often irrelevant.” In a SUPES session titled “Marketing Your School,” the principals were told that “perception is more important than reality.” They were supposed to focus on changing how their school was perceived, rather than actually improving education!
Whatever is behind this scandal getting leaked, whether it’s a fight between two sections of the machine or just some intrepid reporter, the fact is, Byrd-Bennett was corrupt from the moment she got here. If there was no big outcry from the beginning, though Emanuel and all his cronies have known about this deal for three years, it’s because Byrd-Bennett was doing what they all do. And by the way – when are these corrupt operators at SUPES going to be forced to give the money back?
The banks, the custodial contractors, the textbook and testing companies, bottom feeders like Barbara Byrd-Bennett – all these leeches see the schools as just a big pile of money that they can suck wealth out of.