Two years after Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed a record 50 schools over low enrollment, officials say they don’t know where many of the computers, desks, books and other items from those buildings ended up.
After being pressed for more than six months on what happened to the classroom equipment, Chicago Public Schools officials now say they don’t have an answer.
They blame bad record-keeping under Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Emanuel’s disgraced former schools chief, who awaits sentencing after pleading guilty in October to steering millions of dollars in CPS contracts to her former employer in exchange for what prosecutors said were promises of kickbacks.
“Unfortunately, the previous CPS administration did not adequately manage or keep records on the day-to-day operations of the transition logistics,” CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner says.
B3 can’t totally take the fall for this, can she? I mean, she wasn’t personally tracking the movements of furniture, was she? Or is this just par for the CPS bureaucratic course?
• CPS says it has no records on what happened to any of the books from the closed schools.
• There are more than 9,400 desktop and laptop computers listed on inventories of schools that were closed. Of those, 3,724 were “redeployed” to other schools or to CPS headquarters, according to CPS, which says the rest were “disposed” of — though how or where isn’t clear.
• More than 33,000 chairs and roughly 12,000 desks and 6,000 tables were listed in good condition in the closed schools, CPS records show. About 9,500 of those chairs, 3,900 desks and 1,000 tables apparently were moved to other buildings. It’s unclear where the rest went.
It kinda goes without saying that if you want lots more money from the state for your school system, then this sort of news isn’t going to help matters much.