School & District Management

Chicago School Board, Administrators Under Fire for Spending

By Dakarai I. Aarons — January 27, 2010 1 min read
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Chicagoans are up in arms over reports that school board members and school district administrators have spent thousands of tax dollars on travel, artwork, limos and cars.

Back in November, the school board launched a internal investigation into spending in the wake of questions raised by the Chicago Tribune about questionable spending, including by board president Michael Scott, who was found dead last winter. His death was ruled a suicide.

In the wake of the latest reports by the Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, schools CEO Ron Huberman canceled the credit cards of 89 central office staffers. School district spokeswoman Monique Bond told the Sun-Times that staffers would have to justify why they need a district credit card to get one again, and would have to take a training seminar on its proper use.

Huberman also has been under fire for his perks. He had two district vehicles assigned to him, including a hybrid SUV with fancy features. He has since returned it after the Tribune wrote about his vehicles.

Yet another investigation has been launched into the questionable spending, with a former federal prosecutor leading the charge.

Rosemaria Genova, the spokeswoman for the Chicago Teachers Union, told me teachers in the Windy City are upset about all the free-wheeling spending, especially when schools have faced budget cuts.

“Obviously, there have been a lot of things going on and clearly some lack of oversight,” Genova said. “We have real concerns about the amount of money that has been spent and we hope there is real transparency when this over.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.