When Kaya Henderson stepped down as chancellor of the District of Columbia school system, she was replaced by Antwan Wilson, superintendent of schools in Oakland, California.

Wilson came to Oakland in 2014 from Denver, where he was an assistant superintendent. He also graduated the unaccredited Broad Superintendents Academy in 2014.

He was superintendent for two-and-a-half years in Oakland when he received the invitation to take charge of D.C.

Reporter Ken Epstein of the Oakland Post reported on problems that Wilson left behind. Long before Wilson arrived, Oakland spent years in state receivership and was bailed out by the State with a loan of $100 Million. The state watches Oakland closely.

Now the District has discovered that Superintendent Wilson spent heavily on new administrative positions.

Epstein writes:

“The financial report, based on a close examination of the district’s income and expenditures, was presented by Interim Chief Financial Officer Gloria Gamblin and her staff at the school board meeting last week and at the board’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting this week.

“One significant misstep last year was the failure of what is called “position control.”

“Supt. Antwan Wilson’s administration created 75 positions, mostly in the central office, that were not accounted for in the budget and for which funds had not been allocated, said Katema Ballentine, OUSD’s financial officer of budget development
“That’s huge. I’ve never seen a budget number that large,” she said…

“Ballentine told board members that budget staff realized during the last months of Supt. Wilson’s administration that the district was facing a $30 million shortfall, but she and Senior Business Officer Vernon Hal were not allowed to tell the board.”

In a follow-up article, Epstein reported that Wilson overspent the budget for administrators by 100%.

“As the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) struggles to maintain financial solvency – cutting expenses and realigning spending priorities – reports are coming to light indicating that expenditures for administrators and consultants grew dramatically during the three years of Supt. Antwan Wilson’s administration and regularly exceeded the adopted budget by as much as 100 percent.

“As leader of OUSD, these are not the kind of numbers I want to see,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell.

“Our schools need the best leadership we can find, but we must find and keep those leaders while working within our means,” she said. “It is our duty to ensure that we are operating in as efficient and cost-effective way as possible. I am committed to putting us on the right path to fiscal stability.”

“According to one of the numerous financial reports presented Monday night to the school board’s Budget and Finance Committee, total spending for classified (non-teaching) supervisors and administrators grew by 69 percent during Supt. Wilson’s administration, July 2014 – January 2017.

“Classified spending was at $13.1 million in the final year of previous Supt. Tony Smith’s administration (2013-2014), and rose to $22.3 million in 2016-2017.

“At the same time, the district overspent its allocated budget for classified supervisors by over 100 percent in the past two school years.

“Spending for administrators and supervisors with teaching certificates grew 44 percent – from $13.9 million in 2013-2014 to $20 million last school year. Spending in that category exceeded the approved budget by $4 million in 2015-2016 and $1 million last year.

“In the category of professional and consulting services, spending grew 25 percent from $22.7 million in 2013-2014 to $28.3 million in 2016-2017.

“Last year, expenditures for consultants exceeded the budget by 32 percent.“

When interviewed by the Washington Post, Wilson said he had left Oakland with a balanced budget.

Not really.