Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles takes helm, offers no apology for eye-popping salaries

After weeks of calling the shots, Superintendent Mike Miles "officially" took the helm at Dallas Schools. During his first day on the job at the Dallas ISD, Miles spoke to reporters about new results from the state showing dropout rates have declined and graduation rates have increased.

"We need to keep improving our students to be college and career ready," Miles said.

Miles says he realizes that expectations are high and believes the district is in good, but not great shape.

"Our main goal is to put a great teacher in every classroom."

Since being hired in April, Miles has implemented what he calls his "Destination 2020" plan, which is part of a massive restructuring plan. He claims to have saved the district more than $1.2 million in administrative costs, so far.

But, his short tenure has also been marred with some controversy surrounding his decision to spend big bucks on his top cabinet members; including his communications chief, Jennifer Sprague. Sprague doubled her pay and will earn $185,000.

Miles again defended his salary decision.

"We have been able to hire local and national talent and we have saved money. I think the taxpayers will be happy with the talents they receive and the work these people will do."

But, for teachers and staff members who haven't received pay hikes in years, the news about the eye-popping salaries still isn't sitting well.

"That will be a point of contention for a lot of people," Rena Honea with Alliance AFT, said.

Honea says many of the highly-paid executives haven't proven they can be successful in Dallas and that is upsetting.

Miles has also indicated that in the future he wants to adopt a pay for performance program, which could also draw the ire of some critics who way these programs are unproven.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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