Lincoln-Way High Academy Commune 210 spent at atomic $90,000 for children’s playgrounds acclimated by a clandestine day affliction operating rent-free at its four schools, annal and interviews show.
Newly appear invoices appearance the cash-strapped academy commune in contempo years bought swings, a “side-by-side slide” with a canopy, a “tot bedrock climber,” bonanza ladder, and added “Toddler’s Choice” accessories to be acclimated by Frankfort-based Aunt Nancy’s, which runs a day affliction at anniversary of the district’s four schools.
Superintendent Scott Tingley accustomed in an account that the accessories was, “obviously for the use of Aunt Nancy’s,” but said he couldn’t allocution about those purchases because they were fabricated afore his 2013 adjustment as superintendent.
Tingley additionally said the commune owns the amphitheater equipment, not Aunt Nancy’s, and can be acclimated by addition day affliction on campus if Aunt Nancy’s is anytime replaced. Aunt Nancy’s admiral did not acknowledgment letters gluttonous comment.
Government experts contacted by the Daily Southtown aloft questions about the $90,337 account of amphitheater purchases, as able-bodied as the district’s rent-free acceding with Aunt Nancy’s.
Sarah Brune, controlling administrator of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, alleged the district’s adjustment with Aunt Nancy’s, “troubling.”
“The actuality that the academy would acquirement accessories that will be primarily acclimated by the bedfellow is surprising, and confusing, abnormally at a time back schools are abrading to get by,” Brune said.
District 210’s acquirement of amphitheater equipment, which includes accession and angry costs, is aloof the latest archetype of the district’s ambiguous spending and use of accessible property.
Last month, the Southtown appear that Lincoln-Way spent about $45,000 on renovations to abode Superdog, a dog accordance training affairs that Tingley accustomed has “no apprentice benefit.”
Superdog was congenital in 2011 and 2012 by above Administrator Lawrence Wyllie afterwards lath ability or approval, admiral said. Wyllie led the commune from 1989 to 2013.
District 210 had no arrangement with Superdog and calm no acquirement from the affairs in the two years afore Tingley asked the Frankfort Square Esplanade Commune to booty over the program. Back then, Superdog has brought in at atomic $76,165 in revenue, esplanade commune annal show.
The district’s above architecture and area director, Paul Gonzalez, helped Wyllie actualize Superdog and accommodated in 2013 afterwards the commune bent he did clandestine assignment during his commune hours. Above academy lath President Kevin Molloy said Gonzalez had to abandon afterwards refurbishing a assurance in Wyllie’s subdivision.
From 2013 to 2015, a time back the district’s banking bearings was rapidly deteriorating, the commune paid out $272,000 in retirement bonuses for 18 employees, annal show. The commune additionally has paid $199,113 in penalties to the accompaniment alimony system.
In Aunt Nancy’s case, Commune 210 is casual up potentially bags of dollars in rent.
Under its accepted acceding with Commune 210, active in 2013 for 10 years, Aunt Nancy’s is appropriate to accord a 20 percent abatement to accepted and above commune advisers as able-bodied as bodies affiliated to assertive agriculturalist schools.
The “majority” of Aunt Nancy’s audience are Commune 210 educators, according to the day care’s website. The accord can be canceled with 90 days’ notice.
Oak Lawn-based Association High Academy Commune 218 has a agnate arrangement with a clandestine day affliction but accuse its bell-ringer $76,250 a year for use of amplitude at one building.
Tingley ahead said he “(doesn’t) accept an answer” for why a clandestine business is accustomed to accomplish money on campus afterwards advantageous rent.
On its website, Aunt Nancy’s touts the district’s amphitheater equipment, acquainted that it “features slides, aggressive apparatus, and benumbed toys for all the accouchement to advice advance gross motor skills.”
Most of the amphitheater costs occurred in 2008, 2009, and 2013, annal show. Aunt Nancy’s has been with the academy commune back 1998.
The commune additionally could use the amphitheater accessories during adolescent affliction classes, Tingley said.
District 210 does not accept invoices for accessories at Lincoln-Way Central because that assignment was done in the late-90s, admiral said.
In 2015, Commune 210 landed on the state’s banking watch account and in response, voted to shut bottomward Lincoln-Way North as a cost-saving measure.
The commune has faced acute ysis back then. In December, a association accumulation calling itself Lincoln-Way Area Taxpayers Unite filed a accusation allurement a adjudicator to stop the commune from closing North and alleging banking mismanagement.
Steve Eberhardt, a bounded advocate apery LWATU, alleged the amphitheater purchases “another abandoned archetype of government break spending taxpayer’s money.”
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