What can CPS buy for $1 million? Anything but Morgan Park's championship rings edition.
Last month, Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
Seeing that CPS has a $6 billion annual budget, we asked the question: on what does a school district this large spend $1 million, precisely?
It turns out -- lots of things.
Chicago City Wire previously reported on the more than $3.5 million CPS spent on travel, including trips for Simeon’s basketball team to Dubai and San Francisco.
This installment examines the spending of Morgan Park High School, which claims it doesn't have the money to pay for championship rings for its Mustangs boys' basketball team, which won the 3A State Championship this month, beating Fenwick 69-67.
Athletic Director Michael Berger posted a plea to Twitter asking for "monetary donations so we can make this state championship... special for this team."
"In the past, Chicago Public Schools and Morgan Park High School would help in the purchase of state championship rings for the team and coaches," he wrote. "However, in the severe budget crisis times we are living in no financial help is available from these sources this year in helping with the purchase of rings for the team and coaches."
The venerable jewelry maker Jostens typically sells high school championship rings for $150 each. The team roster included 15 players and, assuming five coaches, the grand total of buying rings for the Mustangs would be $3,000.
In its 2016 fiscal year, Morgan Park H.S. detailed $844,459 in school-based spending on discretionary items, including everything from school supplies to a rim for its John Deere tractor.
In light of Berger's dilemma, we thought it was worth asking: on what did Morgan Park spend money that took precedence over spending on championship rings for its basketball team?
$13,100 with Windy City Fieldhouse for a "Staff Team Building Exercise"
$2,834 with G&L Trophies & Gifts on trophies and ribbons for other Morgan Park athletes and teams
$1,870 with Blue Island Travel to send a teacher to Denver.
$711 to reimburse parking fees for staff, including Principal Carolyn Epps, who earns $146,523 per year
$521 in "miscellaneous" reimbursements to green power executive Michael Striverson, including $96.63 for "cab fare."
$5,187 on food for teachers and staff, including:
***$935 with Clark Catering for a June teachers' "professional development working lunch, including fried chicken, blackened chicken and macaroni and cheese."
*** $869 with Subway to cater a Friday lunch for teachers, including "six-inch subs, cookie, drink and salad"
*** $2,109 with Buona Catering for catered Italian beef and sausage sandwiches, lemon chicken ($272/each), and Caesar salads ($68).
*** $399 with Connie's Pizza for 18 large pizzas, delivered to Morgan Park H.S.
*** $455 with Famous Daves for 22 slabs of ribs, including a $15 delivery fee.
*** $420 with Lenore's Kitchen Catering for fried chicken, tossed salad, dinner rolls and assorted sodas.