2 Investigators: Private Coaches Dodge A Fortune In Gym Fees At Chicago Public Schools

(CBS) — Chicago Public Schools has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because private sports clubs that use CPS facilities either didn’t pay fees or paid drastically reduced rates, a new report by the system’s inspector general says.

The report confirms previous news stories by 2 Investigator Dave Savini.

First of all is volleyball coach Joel Anderson. According to the IG report and other CPS documents obtained by CBS 2, he used various Chicago high school gyms to run private sports camps but never paid rent.

Anderson has been terminated and put on a “do not hire” list, CBS 2 has learned.

The documents show in just one month, CPS lost as much as $12,130 in rental income.

Given five years of free gym time for his private companies, the total loss could be huge.

In March, Ralph Martire with the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability spoke out about the problem. He says the arrangement is galling, considering the financial troubles CPS faces.

The IG report released Thursday, and other records, show similar deals given to other coaches at Whitney Young High School.

Basketball coach Kevin Snider also owned NBU Athletics. He ran up a $25,800 debt in back rent. To pay off some of the debt, Principal Joyce Kenner and Snider made a deal: The coach would donate two basketball-shooting machines to the school, worth about $11,000

But the IG investigation raises serious questions about the deal, saying the school actually already owned the equipment.

CBS 2 also found Whitney Young’s swimming coach, Andy Parro, owns a private swimming business, but a website and corporate documents say the business is run out of the high school.

The swim club apparently does pay rent, but it worked out to be a mere $1.20 an hour. The IG estimate is that CPS has lost as much as $582,504 in rental income.

Jaime Walters wasn’t mentioned in the IG report, but she also worked for Anderson’s private club.

CBS 2 obtained a CPS warning letter to Walters for intimidating and harassing Whitney Young students who refused to play on the private club team

Whitney Young’s principal, Kenner, was given a reprimand; she did not return CBS 2’s calls.

None of the coaches have responded, either.

CPS officials confirm discipline is underway, that they revising their rental guidelines and that it will work to balance principal autonomy and maximizing possible revenue for schools.

 

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