Barbara Byrd-Bennett resigns as CPS CEO; teachers union speaks out

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CHICAGO -- Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett handed in her resignation letter Monday amid a federal criminal investigation.

Byrd-Bennett was already on paid leave as the government was investigating a $20 million no-bid school contract to her old employer, the Wilmette, Ill.-based SUPES academy.

Federal investigators have asked for records related to the district's contract with SUPES Academy, which provides principal training. CPS has suspended its contract with SUPES, which has defended its training.

Byrd-Bennett’s letter read in part: “I will remain forever thankful for the opportunity to serve the children of Chicago and the District.” Read the full letter here.

In a statement, Emanuel says he is "saddened by the circumstances" that led to Byrd-Bennett's resignation.

A separate statement from school board president David Vitale says the resignation is effective Monday.

The Chicago Teachers Union says it's not surprised to hear about the resignation.

Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey said Monday that Byrd-Bennett's departure set what he called a “horrible standard for our students and educators who looked to her leadership.”

Vitale had little comment on the resignation, saying for now, interim CEO Jesse Ruiz would continue in that role until they find a permanent replacement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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1 Comment

  • ZebraStripes

    Seriously, who really looked to her for leadership? I can’t imagine one student ever did, and any teacher that did looked for leadership in the wrong person.

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