School & District Management

Campaign Funds Pay for Security

By Jeff Archer — September 24, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Campaign contributions in support of a school tax levy in Cleveland are being tapped to help pay for the personal security of the district’s chief executive officer, after her home was burglarized and she said she received death threats.

The break-in at the home of Barbara Byrd-Bennett on Aug. 2-in which a CD player and some wine were stolen-took place amid rising tensions over the 72,000-student district’s financial woes. This past summer, the system laid off some 1,000 employees to help close a $100 million gap in its $600 million annual budget.

Given that Ms. Byrd-Bennett also has received threatening phone calls, organizers of the local levy campaign said they would use campaign donations to pay for any overtime expenses created by the increased security for the schools chief through the Nov. 2 election.

“I might be overreacting, but when a person’s house is broken into, and they get hate calls, I err on the side of caution,” said Arnold Pinkney, the campaign’s manager.

District officials said last week that Ms. Byrd-Bennett’s security detail had racked up about $10,000 in overtime since the time of the break-in. In the days after the incident, the district ceo was provided round-the-clock protection.

Mr. Pinkney said he hopes to raise a total of $1.2 million for the levy campaign, which faces an uphill battle, given city’s poor economy. The property-tax hike would generate $67 million for Cleveland’s schools.

Although campaigns commonly budget for security, Mr. Pinkney acknowledged last week it was unusual for such an effort to pay to protect someone during times when that person is not specifically engaged in campaign work.

Ms. Byrd-Bennett has had a regular, district-paid security detail since she was hired in 1998. She had been shot at through her office window while in her previous job as a district administrator in New York City.

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion Teachers and Students Need Support. 5 Ways Administrators Can Help
In the simplest terms, administrators advise, be present by both listening carefully and being accessible electronically and by phone.
10 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
School & District Management Opinion When Women Hold Each Other Back: A Call to Action for Female Principals
With so many barriers already facing women seeking administrative roles, we should not be dimming each other’s lights.
Crystal Thorpe
4 min read
A mean female leader with crossed arms stands in front of a group of people.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management Opinion Want a Leadership Edge? You Already Have What You Need
School leaders are faced daily with challenging situations. Here's how to prevent the tail from wagging the dog in responding.
Danny Bauer
4 min read
Screen Shot 2024 04 05 at 5.35.06 AM
School & District Management When Interventions Aim at Relationships, Academics and Attendance Improve
Connecting a student to adults—and peers—has been a missing link in early-warning systems.
4 min read
Image of a data dashboard.
Suppachok Nuthep/iStock/Getty