Cappuccino costs Chicago schools $67,000

Chicago Public Schools bureaucrats spent $67,000 to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines that schools never requested or used, according to a report by the CPS Office of Inspector General. Three machines are in use, though not in culinary arts programs; one has vanished.  The rest never came out of the boxes.

. . . 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.

Several employees have been fired for the cappuccino caper.

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Comments

  1. Too bad they weren’t charter schools, then the title could have been:

    “Cappuccino caper costs Chicago charters $67,000”

  2. John Drake says:

    That’s $2,233 per machine. What the hell did they buy? I have a perfectly good manual machine here at home that I paid $300 for. Even a good automatic machine is only around $1,000.

  3. deirdremundy says:

    Hmm… they must be building some POSH teachers lounges….

    Maybe the school clubs have been banned from selling donuts and can sell lattes instead?

  4. Mark Roulo says:

    That’s $2,233 per machine. What the hell did they buy? I have a perfectly good manual machine here at home that I paid $300 for. Even a good automatic machine is only around $1,000.

    Google for Gaggia. Then look for the machines that grind the beans on-demand for each cup of espresso.

    We had one of these at my last job (or a similar brand) brought in by one of the company officers (it was a very small company). It was great!

    So … you *can* spend $2K on a coffee machine.

    I don’t think I would do this if it were *my* money … and I certainly wouldn’t do it if I was planning on asking taxpayers for more money … but, well, the machines do exist and they are quite nice.

  5. They were bought while our new Secretary of Education was in charge.

  6. BTW, I don’t think teachers saw any of these machines. It sounds like none of these machines made it out of the central office, except for the missing machine, which probably was taken home by a purchasing staffer.

  7. And that’s as it should be.

    Just as the Eiffel Tower was constructed to hold up the skin of paint on top of the ball at the top of the tower, the school district exists to fund the lifestyles of superfluous administrative personnel.

  8. If you read the comments, some people were claiming the machines were using in training special needs kids for all those waiting barista jobs. Sure.

    If you ever wonder what other stupid things schools buy, check out the sites that sell surplus. The LAUSD site has had espresso machines before.