Some CPS schools faking data to earn extra funding: IG report - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Some CPS schools faking data to earn extra funding: IG report

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

An internal investigation uncovers accusations of fraud and mismanagement at Chicago Public Schools. The district's own investigators uncovered several cases happening at the school level.

Principals are taken to task in the Inspector General's report, accused of making up ghost students to beef up enrollment and gaming the system to earn extra state and federal funding. It sounds a lot like Chicago-style politics, without the jail time.

Inspector General Jim Sullivan confirms to FOX 32 News that the principal at Hirsch Metropolitan High School is accused of boosting enrollment figures with fake students so the school could get money for an assistant principal and other staff. The principal eventually retired.

Also in the report, a case first uncovered by FOX 32's Dane Placko, the formal principal of Ogden Elementary was accused of charging excessive travel bills to the district. The principal and his assistant resigned.

SEE: Ogden principal re-assigned after credit card spending investigation

At Harvard Elementary a, principal is accused of falsifying grades to allow students to graduate. In other investigations, the IG found central office administrators applied to have their children get free lunches at school.

At Lakeview High School, an embezzlement scandal to the amount of almost $420,000 appears to have taken place. No criminal charges have been filed, but that employee fled to Mexico and was found dead in a hotel room.

The Inspector General says principals are constantly evaluated and tracked, which puts them under pressure. The IG's office receives tips, follows up on them and then reports their findings to the Chicago Board of Education, which in charge of discipline.

Inspector Sullivan says the Chicago Board of Education has been responsive. CPE CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett says there is no tolerance for mismanagement - that employees will be investigated, disciplined and in some cases, terminated.

The CPS system made a historic number of closures last year, closing schools that were not performing, in an effort to close the budget deficit.

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