LCPS PR director outsources work to external PR firm for $27k

Loudoun County Public Schools is doing damage control after its head of public relations hired a PR firm to navigate publicity for the school district.

The Director of Communications for Loudoun County Public Schools, who heads PR for the school district, is reportedly being paid a quarter million. Loudoun Now is reportedly she apparently hired PR firm for $27-thousand dollars to do what she was hired to do.

Public records indicate Chief Communications and Engagement Officer Natalie Allen earns more than $250-thousand a year.

Her department reportedly has a $2-million dollar plus budget for staffing 13 positions. Loudoun Now reports an additional half a million goes toward operational costs.

Allen and her team are responsible for navigating the media about the school district and messaging about the district to the public.

The department’s nearly $3-million dollar budget is raising eyebrows.

An individual stated on social media "Loudoun County Public Schools is where taxpayer dollars go to die and incompetence reigns supreme, describing it all as a shipwreck."

We spoke with long-time Loudoun County resident Phillip Thompson, whose children all graduated from LCPS.

"It’s completely outrageous."

FOX 5's Tisha Lewis reached out to the county's spokesperson, Dan Adams, for a statement on the incident. Read the full statement below:

"The communications function in school divisions has expanded widely over the last decade. The Department is now tasked with crisis response and management, marketing and branding to include employee recruitment campaigns and social media management, oversight of the website and employee intranet, FOIA, as well as two-way communications and family outreach."

Adams went on to say his boss, Natalie Allen’s quarter million dollar salary is in line with other chiefs within the school district.