Former Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett (aka Triple-B aka Tha Byrd in certain circles) has resigned her post as Chicago Public Schools CEO amid a public corruption investigation.
Byrd-Bennett, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, took her leave of absence amid reports that federal investigators were looking at the contract between CPS and SUPES Academy. A spokesman for the academy said it has turned over record to investigators, who have also asked for documents from Byrd-Bennett and three other employees. CPS has suspended its contract with SUPES.
SUPES Academy is a for-profit "training" institution, the sort that works to "identify, develop, and support a new generation of outstanding leaders for America's school systems." The no-bid contract between CPS and SUPES was worth $20.5 million. Notably, the investigation is occurring against CPS's estimated $1.1-billion budget deficit.
Byrd-Bennett once worked for SUPES and its dubious
owner, Gary Solomon.
"I am saddened by the circumstances that have led to Barbara's resignation and I wish her well," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said today.
Our 2003 feature on the state of the schools
has more information on Byrd-Bennett's time in Cleveland (five years into her tenure as CMSD CEO).