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CORRUPTION CPS: Did Vitale and Ruiz extend Byrd Bennett's current contract just before the feds raided her homes?... Can CPS fire Barbara Byrd Bennett? Check out her complete contract... Approved by the Board of Education, but a well-kept secret....

Did the Chicago Board of Education award Barbara Byrd Bennett and additional year in office (at a quarter million dollars annual salary, plus "performance" bonuses and other perks) just before the recent revelation that federal agents had raided her homes both in Chicago and in Ohio and carried off papers and computer materials? Possibly, since that is the latest news that for some reason the seven members of the Chicago Board of Education forgot to make public. Until it was dragged out of them by a couple of reporters.

During the unprecedented press conference following the April 22, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Board Vice President Jesse Ruiz (above) tried to continue to evade most questions about his votes over the past four years. Those included voting in favor of the now infamous SUPES principal training contract, the monthly vote to keep all Executive Session minutes of the Board secret, and his routine support for the blackout on most news by the CPS Office of Communications since his vote to appoint Rad Blagoevich's former staff aide Becky Carroll as the Board's $165,000-per-year "Chief Communications Officer" in June 2011. Ruiz is now doubling as the CPS "Interim Chief Executive Officer" while retaining his title of Board Vice President. Apparently, the Board members and the mayor who appointed them believe that Ruiz's skillful smile and evasive ways will keep most of the burgeoning CPS scandal from breaking into the public record after the Board's four years of hiding almost all of its expensive actions from the public. Substance photo by David Vance.The Board also went to a great extent to cover up the original contracts that it gave Byrd Bennett. Anyone checking on line will not be able to find either of them at the Board's website (www.cps.edu). Nor has the Board revealed how much the public has paid to fly Byrd Bennett back and forth, on most weekends, from Chicago to her home in Ohio (often, sources have told Substance, with friends).

At least here readers can peruse the full contract that the Board members agreed to back when they hired her full time, after having paid her more than $150,000 for fewer than seven months' work as a consultant back in 2012.

In reading the full contract Chicago Public Schools signed with CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett -- now under federal investigation for improprieties with a no bid $20 Million dollar contract with SUPES Training Academy -- it seems like the school district would be able to get out of the bad deal they now have with this person. It should be noted the Byrd Bennett has worked In Washington, DC, under now disgraced Michelle Rhee and in the Bankrupt Detroit schools. In the coming days Substance news will release documents and reports on other past issues Byrd Bennett has had working in other school districts.

In full disclosure I am not a lawyer so the entire Bryd-Bennett contract is reprinted below for examination and discussion.

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PERFORMANCE-BASED CONTRACT WITH THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT OF THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

(October 12, 2012 through June 30, 2015)

THIS CONTRACT is made by and between the Board of Education (the "Board") of the Chicago Public Schools, School District Number 299, Cook County, Illinois ("CPS" or the "School District") and Barbara Byrd-Bennett (the "Chief Executive Officer").

In consideration of the mutual promises herein contained, the Board and the Chief Executive Officer agree as follows:

1. EMPLOYMENT. In accordance with the provisions of Section 34-6 of the School Code of Illinois (105 ILCS 5/34-6), the Chief Executive Officer is hereby employed as the Chief Executive Officer and General Superintendent of CPS under this multi-year performance-based Contract ("the Contract" or "this Contract") for the period beginning October 12, 2012 and extending through June 30, 2015. The Initial Contract Year under this Contract shall be the period October 12, 2012 through June 30, 2013. Subsequent contract years ("Contract Year(s)") under this Contract shall be July 1, through the immediately following June 30.

2. PERFORMANCE GOALS. The Chief Executive Officer and the Board shall meet annually to establish performance goals and a performance evaluation process. The primary measures of the performance and effectiveness of the Chief Executive Officer each Contract Year shall be an annual evaluation by the Board to determine whether the Chief Executive Officer has accomplished the then current goals as established by the parties. The first meeting to establish performance goals for the Initial Contract Year shall be October 24, 2012 with subsequent meetings as set by the parties but no later than December 19, 2012.

5. BOARD/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER COMMUNICATIONS. The Board and Chief Executive Officer shall make their best effort to work with each other in a spirit of cooperation and team work and shall provide each other with periodic opportunities to discuss Board/Chief Executive Officer relations and communications. The first such opportunity shall occur on or before December 19, 2012. By that date, the President of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer shall meet to discuss the roles of the Board, the Board President, other individual Board members, and the Chief Executive Officer and to develop a process and procedure by which the Board, the Board President and the Chief Executive Officer shall communicate, with an emphasis on productive and constructive communications between the Board and the Chief Executive Officer and referral to the Chief Executive Officer of material complaints regarding management of the School District or the Chief Executive Officer's performance of her duties.

6. ANNUAL BASE SALARY. The Board, as compensation for the duties set forth in this Contract, shall pay the Chief Executive Officer an annual base salary at the rate of TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLARS ($250,000) for each Contract Year, payable in equal installments in the same manner as the salaries of other central office twelve-month administrators are paid. Further, the Board shall pay the Chief Executive Officer an annual cost of living increase of three and two-tenths percent (3.2%) of her annual base salary for each Contract Year subsequent to the Initial Contract Year. The cost of living increase shall not increase the annual base salary. The Board reserves the right to increase from time-to-time the annual base salary rate hereunder, based upon performance evaluation, without entering into a new contract or extending the term of this Contract; however, in no event shall the Chief Executive Officer's annual base salary rate be less in a Contract Year than the annual base salary rate in the previous Contract Year, unless otherwise agreed by the Board and the Chief Executive Officer. Any increase in the Chief Executive Officers annual base salary rate made during the term of this Contract shall be in the form of an amendment or other Board action and shall become part of this Contract, but any failure to attach the increased annual base salary rate shall not affect the validity or amount of any such increase.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Contract, in the event the Board requires central office professional employees to take unpaid holiday or furlough days, the Chief Executive Officer shall be subject to the same requirement.

7. BENEFITS. The Board shall provide the Chief Executive Officer with such health, dental, life, disability, deferred compensation, professional activity, vacation, leave and other benefits as the Board provides for its employees generally, as may be modified from time-to-time by the Board. In addition, the Board shall pay the Chief Executive Officer ONE THOUSAND FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS ($1,500) per year to assist the Chief Executive Officer in satisfying the premium of a whole life insurance policy. Any and all costs of such policy in excess of this amount shall be the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer.

8. PROFESSIONAL GROWTH. The Board encourages the continued professional growth of the Chief Executive Officer through the Chief Executive Officer's active attendance at, and participation in, appropriate professional meetings at the local, regional, state, and national levels. The Board also encourages the participation of the Chief Executive Officer in pertinent education seminars and courses offered by public or private institutions or by educational associations, as well as the participation in informational meetings with those individuals whose particular skills, expertise, or backgrounds would serve to improve the capacity of the Chief Executive Officer to perform the Chief Executive Officer's professional responsibilities for the School District. In its encouragement of the Chief Executive Officer to grow professionally, the Board shall permit a reasonable amount of release time for the Chief Executive Officer, to attend such seminars, courses or meetings. The Board shall pay the reasonable costs associated with attending meetings, including transportation, travel, meals, lodging, and other related expenses.

9. MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. The Board shall pay the Chief Executive Officer's dues in three (3) professional organizations.

10. CIVIC ACTIVITIES. The Chief Executive Officer is encouraged to participate in community and civic affairs. The Board shall pay or reimburse the Chief Executive Officer for the reasonable membership dues associated with three (3) such organizations.

11. EXPENSES. The Board shall pay or reimburse the Chief Executive Officer for reasonable expenses incurred by the Chief Executive Officer in the continuing performance of the Chief Executive Officer's duties under this Contract. The Board shall reimburse the Chief Executive Officer for mileage and the actual and incidental costs incurred by the Chief Executive Officer for travel to and from destinations outside of the School District. Such actual and incidental costs may include, but are not limited to, gasoline, hotels and accommodations, meals, rental cars, and other expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of the business of the School District. The Chief Executive Officer shall comply with all Board Policies regarding payment or reimbursement of such expenses.

12. TRANSPORTATION. The Board shall provide the Chief Executive Officer with a driver for travel in a District automobile to and from destinations within the Chicago Metropolitan Area in connection with the performance of the Chief Executive Officer's duties.

13. PENSION CONTRIBUTION. In addition to the salary provided for in paragraph 6 of this Contract, the Board shall pick up and pay on the Chief Executive Officer's behalf to the applicable pension fund (the "Fund") as permitted by the Illinois Pension Code, as amended from time-to-time, the Chief Executive Officer's contributions to the Fund on the same basis as it picks up and pays for all other employees participating in the Fund.

It is the intention of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer to qualify all such payments picked up and paid by the Board on the Chief Executive Officer's behalf as employer payments pursuant to Section 414(h) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The Chief Executive Officer shall not have the option of choosing to receive directly the amounts contributed to the Fund by the Board on the Chief Executive Officer's behalf, nor any right or claim to the contributions to the Fund, except as such may subsequently become available pursuant to the provisions of the Pension Code and the rules and regulations of the Fund. The Fund is a separate legal entity and is not subject to the control of the Board.

14. DEFERRED COMPENSATION. The Chief Executive Officer may elect that a portion of her annual base salary set forth in paragraph 6 of this Contract be paid into the Board's qualified tax shelter plan or plans. For each Contract Year (including the Initial Contract Year) the Board shall pay an amount of deferred compensation into an eligible plan an amount equal to six percent (6%) of the Chief Executive Officer's then annual base salary. This amount shall be deducted from the Chief Executive Officer's salary in the same manner as other central office administrators.

15. TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT. The Board shall provide the Chief Executive Officer a PDA and shall pay for monthly usage of the PDA, a laptop computer, printer/fax machine and other technology reasonably necessary for the performance of the Chief Executive Officer's duties.

16. EVALUATION. Unless otherwise required by law or agreed between the Board and the Chief Executive Officer, the evaluation of the Chief Executive Officer shall at all times be conducted in closed session and shall be considered confidential to the extent permitted by law. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Board or the Chief Executive Officer from sharing the content of the Chief Executive Officer's evaluation with their respective legal counsel or others privileged to receive such information.

The Board's failure to comply with the evaluation requirements of this Contract, including the requirements set forth above, shall not impair or limit the Board's rights under this Contract to terminate this Contract or non-renew the Chief Executive Officer's employment.

17. OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES. The Chief Executive officer shall devote her full professional and employment time to CPS business. The Chief Executive Officer shall not engage in secondary employment as that term is defined in the Board's Code of Ethics, as may be amended from time-to-time, unless permitted by and in accordance with the Code of Ethics or unless otherwise approved by the Board President. On an occasional, short-term basis approved by the Board's President, the Chief Executive Officer shall be permitted to undertake, with or without honorarium, limited writing, teaching and speaking engagements.

18. MEDICAL EXAMINATION. The Chief Executive Officer shall meet the

Board's requirement applicable to all employees for pre-employment drug and TB testing and submit to an initial comprehensive medical examination. The initial comprehensive medical examination shall be performed by doctor(s) selected by the Chief Executive Officer. Such medical examination shall include tests deemed necessary by the doctor, required by the Board and/or mandated by law. The cost of such medical examination shall be borne by the Board up to a maximum amount of SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS ($700) or such greater amount as is necessary to meet the cost of the examination required by the Board. A report as to the Chief Executive Officer's fitness, with reasonable accommodation to the extent required by law, to fully perform under this Contract, in a form satisfactory to the Board, shall be provided to the Board President, filed separately from the Chief Executive Officer's personnel file, and treated as confidential information by the Board. The initial medical report shall be received by the Board President by no later than December 1, 2012, demonstrating such fitness.

By May 31 of each Contract Year, a comprehensive medical examination shall be performed and a report submitted on the same basis as the initial comprehensive medical examination and report. The Chief Executive Officer shall further submit to, and furnish the Board with reports of, such medical examinations as the Board may from time-to-time require at its expense.

19. RELOCATION AND TRANSITIONAL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT. The Board shall provide the Chief Executive Officer with a stipend in the amount of THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($30,000) for the expenses of transitioning to employment in the School District and relocating the Chief Executive Officer's household to establish residency in the School District. This amount shall be paid to the Chief Executive Officer by no later

than December 1, 2012, subject to all applicable provisions of, and requirements under, the United States Internal Revenue Code. The entire amount paid by the Board under this paragraph shall be repaid by the Chief Executive Officer to the Board if the Chief Executive Officer terminates employment before June 30, 2013, and one-half of such amount shall be repaid by the Chief Executive Officer to the Board if the Chief Executive Officer terminates employment before June 30, 2014.

20. TENURE. By accepting this Contract, the Chief Executive Officer waives any

rights to acquire tenure of any sort in the School District.

21. RESIDENCY IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. The Chief Executive Officer shall establish residency in the School District by no later than March 11, 2013, and, thereafter, maintain residency in the School District for the duration of this Contract.

22. DISABILITY. Subject to the Chief Executive Officer's rights, if any, under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, should the Chief Executive Officer become physically or mentally disabled from performing any substantial duty permanently, with or without reasonable accommodations, or for a period of sixty (60) calendar days in any 180 calendar-

day period, the Board may, at its option, terminate the Chief Executive Officer's employment upon thirty (30) days' written notice to the Chief Executive Officer and the opportunity for a hearing before the Board or its designated hearing officer regarding whether the Chief Executive Officer can continue to perform her duties with or without reasonable accommodations. Upon termination for this reason, the Board shall pay the Chief Executive Officer for any compensation, benefits and business expense reimbursements due and owing up to the date of termination and for accumulated but unused sick leave. Additionally, within a reasonable time after the request for hearing is received by the Board. The Board may conduct the hearing through its designated hearing officer.

At the hearing, the Chief Executive Officer shall have the right to be present and to be heard, to be represented by counsel and to present through witnesses any sworn testimony relevant to the issue and to cross examine any witnesses against her. A transcript of the record of the hearing shall be made available to the Chief Executive Officer without charge to the Chief Executive Officer. If the Chief Executive Officer chooses to be accompanied by legal counsel at the hearing, she shall assume the cost of her legal representation.

If no hearing is timely requested, the termination shall become effective on the date specified in the Board's notice. Pending any hearing requested by the Chief Executive Officer, the Board may suspend the Chief Executive Officer with or without pay. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board shall determine whether or not to terminate this Contract and the Chief Executive Officer's employment. If the Chief Executive Officer is terminated for cause during the term of this Contract, the Chief Executive Officer shall be entitled to any compensation, benefits and business expense reimbursement due and owing up to the date of termination.

25. NON-RENEWAL AT THE END OF THE TERM OF THE CONTRACT. In the event the Board decides not to renew this Contract at the end of its term, the Board shall endeavor to give notice of such intention to the Chief Executive Officer within five (5) days after the Board's regular meeting in January of the last Contract Year, but in any event notice of such intention shall be given to the Chief Executive Officer by no later than March 1 of the last Contract Year. The Chief Executive Officer shall notify the Board in writing by no later than December 15 of the last Contract Year of the Board's obligations under this paragraph. If the Chief Executive Officer timely gives notice of the Board's obligations and the Board then fails to give the Chief Executive Officer timely notice in accordance with this paragraph, the Chief Executive Officer-'s employment, in a professional assignment to be determined by the Board, shall be automatically extended for one additional year at the same base annual salary and benefits as provided for in this Contract.

The Chief Executive Officer shall notify the Board by no later than December 15 of the last Contract Year of her intention not to renew her employment as Chief Executive Officer.

26. UNILATERIAL TERMINATION BY THE BOARD. The Board may, at its option, and by a minimum of sixty (60) days' notice to the Chief Executive Officer, unilaterally terminate this Contract during its term without cause. In the event of such termination, the Board shall pay to the Chief Executive Officer, as severance pay, the lesser of one year of her base annual salary or the base annual salary for the period of time from the actual date of termination to the termination date set forth in this Contract. Additionally, the Board shall pay for the cost of the Chief Executive Officer and her family's participation in the Board's health insurance program through the exercise by the Chief Executive Officer of her COBRA rights for one year following termination. The base annual salary for the Contract Year in which notice of unilateral termination is given by the Board shall be used to determine severance pay. The severance payment shall be made in equal installments on regular payroll dates over the period beginning with the actual date of termination through the date of termination set forth in this Contract or, if shorter, a one-year period beginning with the actual date of termination.

27. UNILATERIAL TERMINATION BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER. The

Chief Executive Officer may resign, retire or otherwise terminate this Contract before the end of the term of this Contract or any mutually agreed upon extension. The Chief Executive Officer must provide at least ninety days advance written notice of resignation or retirement to the Board. Upon receiving such notice, the Board may elect , in its' sole discretion, to accept such resignation or retirement and termination this Contract on the proposed resignation or retirement date or such other earlier date as determined solely by the Board. The Board shall pay the Chief Executive Officer her annual base salary and other applicable compensation and benefits accrued up to the date of termination of this Contract. To the extent applicable, the Chief Executive Officer shall repay any relocation and transition expenses as set forth in paragraph 19 of this Contract.

28. TERMINATION BY MUTUAL AGREEMENT. This Contract may be terminated by the mutual agreement of the Chief Executive Officer and the Board in writing, upon such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon.

29. BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION. This Contract is contingent on completion of the background investigation required of all public school employees by Section 34-18.5 of the School Code of Illinois and of any other background investigation required or permitted by law, such as checks of the Statewide Sex Offender Data Base, the Statewide Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Data Base, and the Department of Children and Family Services records on pending investigations and indicated findings. If the investigation discloses information which would prohibit employment, be contrary to CPS employment requirements with respect to convictions or call into question the Chief Executive Officers fitness to serve the School District as the role model required by Section 27-12 of the School Code, the Board may, in its sole discretion, terminate this Contract on ten (10) days' written notice to the Chief Executive Officer. The Board may require a repetition of the background investigation from time-to-time during the term of this Contract.

30. NOTICE. Any notice or communication permitted or required under this Contract shall be made in writing and shall become effective on the day of service thereof by personal service or by first class mail, registered or certified, return receipt request, postage prepaid, sent to the parties at their respective addresses listed below, or at such other addresses as the parties may from time-to-time advise in writing. Service by mail, as provided above, shall be deemed made upon deposit in the mail.

If to the Board:

President, Board of Education Chicago Public Schools

125 South Clark Street, 6th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60603

With a copy to:

President, Board of Education Chicago Public Schools

[at his last known home address]

and

General Counsel

Chicago Public Schools

125 South Clark Street, 7th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60603

If to the Chief Executive Officer:

Dr. Barbara Byrd-Bennett Chief Executive Officer Chicago Public Schools

125 South Clark Street, 5th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60603

With a copy to:

Dr. Barbara Byrd-Bennett [at her last known address]

31. MISCELLANEOUS.

A. This Contract has been executed in Illinois, and shall be governed in

accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois in every respect.

B. Paragraph headings and numbers have been inserted for convenience of reference only, and if there shall be any conflict between any such headings or numbers and the text of this Contract, the text shall control.

C. This Contract may be executed in one or more counterparts, each of which shall be considered an original, and all of which taken together shall be considered one and the same instrument.

D. If any provision of this Contract is subsequently declared by the proper legislative or judicial authority to be unlawful or unenforceable, all other provisions of the Contract shall remain in full force and effect.

E. This Contract contains all the terms and benefits agreed upon by the parties with respect to the subject matter of this Contract and supersedes all prior agreements, arrangements and communications between the parties concerning such subject matter whether oral or written. No modification or amendment of this Contract shall be valid or binding on the parties unless it is in writing and executed by the Board and Chief Executive Officer.

F. This Contract shall become effective and be deemed dated as of the date the last of the parties signs this Contract as set forth below.

BOARD OF EDUCATION CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER 299, Cook County, Illinois

By:

DAVID J. VITALE President

Attest:

ESTELA G. BELTRAN Secretary

Dated:11/14/12

Barabara Byrd-Bennett

Dated 11/12/12

Resolution No. 12-1024-RS6

Approved as to legal form:

JAMES L. BEBLEY General Counsel



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