Not only did the district fail to downsize fast enough in the face of rapidly decreasing enrollment, but Highland Park school officials were also accused of outright theft of district resources. Former Highland Park school board member Robert Davis was charged with and indicted for stealing more than $125,000 from the district between 2004 and 2010. Jamille Edwards, a former Highland Park school board president, was ordered by a judge in 2009 to repay the district $3,700.
In interviews with the author, former Highland Park school district teachers discussed boxes of unopened and unused textbooks and extravagant trips. One teacher said the district, while student enrollment and revenues were dropping quickly, had paid for a large group of employees to attend a conference at a five-star hotel in Orlando. The conference lasted one week, and Highland Park employees received a $100-per-day meal stipend.