Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles hasn't even officially started work yet and already there is controversy. He has allegedly offered his former spokeswoman a $100,000 raise to come to Dallas.
Teachers' union vice president George Rangel said he's been fielding calls and reading emails from teachers all day. They are upset that Miles is handing out "lavish salaries" to his new hires.
Specifically Jennifer Sprague, the new communications chief, will leave her roughly $87,000 per year salary in Miles' old district and get a 125 percent raise. She'll make $185,000 a year, which is $52,000 more than the current spokesman makes.
It comes at a time when the district is cutting back.
"There is an outrage on the part of the employees with these changes," Rangel said. "Why is the administration paying this much money when we are receiving a cut in pay, we're gonna be working longer hours and our class sizes are increasing."
David Kilmazewski and his daughter Phoebe wonder the same thing. They both question Miles' motive.
"They just think, ‘How can we fatten our wallets,'" said Phoebe, a junior at Townview Magnet Center.
"It just seems like a waste, waste of money. And it could be much better spent elsewhere," her father added.
By phone, Sprague said she has a proven track record and that the raised eyebrows over her salary were just generalizations.
"People are simply not used to this type of high level communications position being elevated to a cabinet level," she said.
She also said Miles hires the best and the brightest and pays based on competence and ability.
"Dallas will come around," she said.
It's worth noting the Houston Independent School District's chief of communications also makes $185,000.
KDFW FOX 4
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