CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools officials are asking serious questions of Chicago Virtual Charter School, following a CBS 2 investigation of mass turnover, dysfunction, and questionable finances.
The district sent a list of demands to Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS), including details of travel costs paid for an administrator who lives in Atlanta and a pay raise for CEO Dr. Cheryl Pruitt.
Pruitt saw her salary bump up $26,000 to $176,000 while the school was on financial probation for not meeting CPS accountability requirements.
“I didn’t get a large raise, and that’s something to be discussed with the board,” Pruitt said last week.
Now, CPS wants to know why she received that raise while the school was on financial probation, sending a letter to the CVCS board president, citing “allegations made by CBS Chicago of questionable spending.”
School district leaders also are curious about calculations that CVCS reimbursed director of strategy Angela Richardson-Bryant $3,752 to fly between Chicago and her home in Atlanta.
Those flights were first paid for when Richardson-Bryant was the school’s board president, a volunteer position. CVCS then promoted her to director of strategy, knowing she lived out of state. Her travel costs were accompanied by a $135,000 salary.
Richardson-Bryant was not happy CBS 2 tracked her down outside last week’s board meeting. She claimed the report on her travel expenses “lacks integrity.”
“Journalistic integrity is lacking,” she said.
CPS apparently didn’t think so, ordering a written response about her reimbursements by next Tuesday.
The district also inquired about pending charges against Pruitt, and wants to know why she was hired at CVCS.
Pruitt made headlines last October, when she was arrested for allegedly double-billing the Gary Community Schools Corp for a three-day trip to a conference in Los Angeles in 2016.