GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – “Specialized instruction and academic support.” Grand Prairie ISD says that’s how it plans to use the home it currently rents to Superintendent Susan Hull.
The three-bedroom home, which comes with a pool and horse barn, is located near Garner Fine Arts Academy.
Thursday night, the school board approved eliminating two provisions from Hull’s contract to allow her to move out of the home and out of the district. “I think she’s tired of living in the fish bowl,” said trustee Steve Pryor. He says Hull told the board she feels uncomfortable with all the attention. “There are people stopping to see where she lives, there are drones flying over her house, you know, people trying to get a picture of her house.”
Pryor was the only dissenting vote. He said it is not in the best interest of the district let the superintendent live outside the boundaries. Other board members said they don’t care where Hull makes her home, as long as she stays with GPISD. “It doesn’t matter where the superintendent lives,” said Aaron King. “As long as she’s here doing her job to the best of her ability, as stress-free as she can, that’s important.” Gloria Carrillo agreed. “I think that we should allow her to be in a place where she feels more comfortable, where she can be more effective in the position she has with our district and with our children.”
The district purchased the property in January 2016 for $694,000. That same month the board amended Hull’s contract to include the rental agreement and a $1,000 monthly housing allowance. It’s unknown when Hull moved in but her first rent check was dated November 2016.
It was later revealed that Hull’s staff had spent $160,000 on renovations to the property. In 2017 the school board hired a law firm to investigate spending at the home. Trustees released a portion of their findings in May; Consumer Justice is still fighting for the release of the full report.
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Consumer Justice checked with the 20 largest school systems in North Texas. Grand Prairie ISD will be the only district whose superintendent does not live within district boundaries.
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