DISD Superintendent's Future Up In The Air After Late-Night Meeting | KERA News

DISD Superintendent's Future Up In The Air After Late-Night Meeting

Sep 20, 2013

The Dallas school board talked for four hours Thursday night about the future of superintendent Mike Miles, but came to no decision. Miles told board members he’s ready to “reset” his relationship with them and focus on educating children.

The outcome of the long closed-door session on an independent investigation of Miles did not yield the result that protesters called for earlier in the evening.

Board member Dan Micciche broke the news that the board would not be voting on Miles.   

“We are not able because it is a personnel matter to talk about any potential consequences," he said.

But the board is expected to make a decision on any action against Miles by the end of the month.

Former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins publicly outlined his findings that Miles violated district policy by his actions relating to alleged interference with a contract and a subsequent internal investigation of his activities.  And Coggins said Miles appears to have violated his employment contract that requires maintaining a good relationship with the board.

“Superintendent Miles encouraged and instructed Kevin Smelker, a former cabinet member in drafting a letter that disparaged certain members of the board," Coggins said.

Miles sat quietly at the dais with school board members listening to Coggins. Then he responded, but not to the charges directly.  He told trustees he’s willing the “reset the relationship with the board” and concentrate on the classroom. 

“Our students, staff, parents and community need us to stay focused on our students," Miles said. "I plan to do that. I hope you’ll be willing to move forward together and I look forward to finding ways that are acceptable to this board and to the community.”

Board member Lew Blackburn hinted that might not be possible.

“When there is an allegation that the superintendent is working counter to the board, that’s treading on thin ice," Blackburn said.

Trustee Nancy Bingham said there’s no proof that Miles helped write the critical resignation letter that was leaked to the media.  

The board and the community remain divided on Miles’ future.  First-grade teacher Dennis Bedingfield says morale is at an all-time low.

“And it’s because of his dictatorship and bullying and the way he treats people. And it’s time that he go," he said.

Hispanic activist Carlos Quintanilla has four kids in DISD.  He says Miles should be reprimanded for breaking the rules, but not fired. He says Miles is changing things.

“As a parent and talking to principals and talking to teachers and seeing my children, it’s needed," he said.