Report: Dallas ISD spokeswoman plans to resign

DISD salaries

Credit: WFAA

The annual salary for Dallas ISD communications director Jennifer Sprague was $185,000.


Associated Press

Posted on December 22, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 22 at 10:10 PM

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DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Morning News reports the communication director of the city's school district plans to resign after her $185,000 annual salary was broadly criticized.

Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles hired Jennifer Sprague in the spring. The Morning News reports Saturday Sprague had worked with Miles at his former school district in Colorado Springs. Officials plan to announce Sprague's resignation after Christmas. It remains unclear whether she will be paid severance.

Miles has acknowledged he should have interviewed more candidates for the job Sprague filled. He has also said he might pay his cabinet members too much.

But after naming Sprague to the position last June, Miles deflected criticism of his decision.

“If Jennifer Sprague were an ugly, slightly older male with 20 years' experience and won all these national awards, would any of you in this room make a story out of it?” he asked. “I think the answer would be 'no.'”

Sprague would be the second person in Miles' cabinet to resign recently. Chief of Staff Alan King resigned in October.

Dr. Lew Blackburn, president of the DISD Board of Trustees, issued this statement on Saturday:

"Given the district's financial history, we cannot afford to defer our duties and responsibilities. We will rely on our Internal Auditor to assist us in our responsibility of management oversight and will not allow a repeat of past mistakes."

Findings of that audit are scheduled to be released next month. DISD faced a $36 million deficit, closed 11 schools and cut hundreds of staffers.

WFAA contributed to this report.