CPS $20 million no-bid contract raises questions about Supes Academy
smh...oh no FWFW, it's all on the up and up!! You just don't want change because you're a union teacher!!!The size and the circumstances surrounding the contract have raised eyebrows among some outside observers. The contract with Wilmette-based Supes Academy is by far the largest no-bid contract awarded in at least the past three years, according to a Catalyst Chicago analysis of board documents. In addition, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett worked for the company as a coach up until the time she came on board at CPS as a consultant.
There’s also conflicting information about Byrd-Bennett’s involvement with another company owned by the same individuals who run the Supes Academy.
Andy Shaw, president and CEO of the Better Government Association, says that a large, no-bid contract such as this one deserves scrutiny.
"No-bid contracts should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances that demand highly specific skills in a short time frame,” Shaw says. “It's too early to say if this one qualifies. But Catalyst has raised enough other questions to merit a review by the CPS inspector general."
Wendy Katten of the parent advocacy group Raise Your Hand, whose group has tracked school budget cuts, is critical as well.
“A $20 million no-bid contract … is a questionable use of funds at a time when our students have 94 less art positions, 58 less [physical education] positions, and 54 less music positions for the fall, and CEO Byrd-Bennett is in the press discussing online courses for these programs,” she says. “We have to ask where the priorities of this district are right now.”
Up until April 2012, Byrd-Bennett worked as a consultant to the Supes Academy. At that time, she was brought on at CPS as the chief education advisor to then-CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, a contract position for which she was paid $21,500 a month.