In the case of the cappuccino machines, central office administrators split the order among 21 vocational schools to avoid competitive bidding required for purchases over $10,000. As a result CPS paid about $12,000 too much, according to Inspector General James Sullivan. "We were able to find the same machines cheaper online," he said.
"We also look at it as a waste of money because the schools didn't even know they were getting the equipment, schools didn't know how to use the machines and weren't prepared to implement them into the curriculum," Sullivan said.
Um. Well. I'm kind of speechless at this last one.
Does this give you an idea how much they already probably stretch the curriculum to include all manner of useless (but convenient for them) "instruction", like movie-watching and making endless origami doves or something. This in a pervasively failing school system. Another audit discovery was tampering with grades. (There's been some improvement, but even Mayor Daley damns with faint praise.)
Let's see--a study of Capuchin monks? Nah, we can't have that--these are the public schools. They grow an awful lot of coffee in Brazil? Maybe a class on the Chicago Way.
P.S. A one-time auditor of the CPS from some years ago tells me at least it wasn't homemade Kahlua in the Mr. Coffee, which was their biggest worry. Vodka instead of water.