DC School Chancellor Spent Only A Third Of Budget On Class Books And Supplies At Last District

Rob Shimshock | Education Reporter

The last district operated by the new chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public schools is in big financial trouble, according to a Wednesday report.

Antwan Wilson, appointed by D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser in 2017 to the chancellorship, previously served as public schools chief in Oakland, Calif., a school district that underwent $15.1 million in November budget cuts, reported The Washington Post.

Oakland is decreasing its budgets for computer lab, mental health service, library, and supplies and California state auditors claim the district “has lost control of its spending.”

“We do not have adequate checks and balances in our system. We don’t have technology tracking our spending. We don’t have adequate human resources tracking our spending…and we have a school board that ultimately had oversight of him, approving salaries and contracts. But [Wilson] bears a lot of responsibility,” said Carmelita Reyes, a principal of one of the chancellor’s former Oakland high schools who is also on budget and principal advisory boards in the district.

Oakland had a budget deficit of approximately $30 million when Wilson left, but the chancellor told WaPo that the situation was not as dire as previously, when California gave the district millions of dollars in loans to ease its $37 million deficit.

But while only four Oakland officials made over $200,000 a year before Wilson’s tenure, 26 made as much two years later, according to Transparent California. Reyes said that Oakland principles experienced a budget freeze after Wilson signed on to be D.C.’s new chancellor.

Furthermore, the district experienced discrepancies between budgeted costs for certain items and actual costs in the 2016-2017 school year. Oakland allotted $10.4 million for “classified supervisors and administrators,” but ended up spending $22.2 million. Conversely, the district disbursed less than anticipated in books and supplies for classrooms, paying out $6.8 million instead of $20.1 million.

Assuming the chancellorship in 2017, Wilson has replaced Kaya Henderson, who received criticism for allegedly doling out special favors for children of government officials and others. (RELATED: Former DC Schools Chancellor And Racial Justice Scholar’s Corruption Goes Unpunished)

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Wilson for comment, but received none in time for press.

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