CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett has been on leave from her post since mid-April when the district announced it was under a federal investigation into a $20.5 million no-bid contract the CPS board granted to Byrd-Bennett's former employer, SUPES Academy. Friday she sent a letter to CPS Board President David Vitale offering her resignation from the job, effective June 1. Her paid leave time was scheduled to end this week. A CPS spokesman confirms she'll be paid through the end of the week. We'll have reaction from the mayor and the Chicago Teachers Union.
I write to submit my resignation from the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools to the Board of Education effective June 1, 2015.
I will remain forever thankful for the opportunity to serve the children of Chicago and the District.
I also appreciate the steadfast support of you, the Board, and the District and wish all of you continued success in the important work that you do to further the mission of CPS and the interests of the children that it serves.
“I am saddened by the circumstances that have led to Barbara’s resignation and I wish her well. As a city, our focus must remain on finishing the school year strong and tackling the billion dollar deficit that threatens the progress our students, teachers, principals and parents have made over the last several years.”
“The Chicago Teachers Union is not surprised at the resignation of Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett. The current federal investigation that forced her departure sets a horrible example for our students and the educators who look to her leadership. She leaves Chicago not only under a cloud of suspicion and organizational chaos, but also following one of the darkest hours in our city’s history when she closed 50 public schools in a single year, the largest number in U.S. history. The Byrd-Bennett’s investigation, as well as the obvious conflicts of interests among current Board members, underscores why we have advocated for an elected school board. We wish her well in her endeavors.”