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:

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

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 Some Teachers Won't Get Vaccinated, Even With a Mandate. What Should Schools Do About It?
Vaccine requirements for teachers are gaining traction, but the logistics of upholding them are complicated.
9 min read
Illustration of a vaccine, medical equipment, a clock and a calendar with a date marked in red.
School & District Management A Vaccine for Kids Is Coming. 6 Tips for Administering the Shot in Your School
Start planning now, get help, and build enthusiasm. It's harder than it looks.
11 min read
Cole Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student at Topeka West, gets a COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 at Topeka High School's vaccine clinic.
Cole Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at Topeka High School's vaccine clinic.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
School & District Management Letter to the Editor School Mask Mandates: Pandemic, ‘Panicdemic,’ or Personal?
"A pandemic is based on facts. A 'panicdemic' is based on fears. Today, we have both," writes a professor.
1 min read
School & District Management How 'Vaccine Discrimination' Laws Make It Harder for Schools to Limit COVID Spread
In Montana and Ohio, the unvaccinated are a protected class, making it tough to track and contain outbreaks, school leaders say.
4 min read
Principal and District Superintendent Bonnie Lower takes the temperature of a student at Willow Creek School as the school reopened, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.
Bonnie Lower, a principal and district superintendent in Willow Creek, Mont., checks the temperature of a student as Willow Creek School reopened for in-person instruction in the spring.
Ryan Berry/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP