UPDATE: Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles survived a vote to fire him Monday night for violating policy and his contract. He’ll get a letter of reprimand and other sanctions instead.
The decision to sanction the superintendent came after a five hour closed door session which followed a failed 5-3 vote to fire Miles.
Carla Ranger, Bernadette Nutall and Lew Blackburn voted for termination. Nutall told colleagues Mike Miles is no longer qualified to lead the Dallas School District.
“The superintendent is the one individual that cannot have a lapse in judgment as defined by the Coggins report when so many students and staff depend on that very judgment,” Nutall said.
The report by former US Attorney Paul Coggins found Miles violated policy by interfering with an internal investigation into the handling of a contract. It also found he violated his contract by aiding an employee who wrote a resignation letter critical of board members. The letter was later leaked to the media.
Board member Nancy Bingham said the report stated that no criminal or civil laws were broken, and it also offered allegations without evidence to support them.
“Let’s not forget all those insufficient evidence, unsubstantiated allegations," Bingham cautioned. "We have to base our decision tonight on what has been substantiated in this report.”
Trustee Elizabeth Jones voted against firing Miles, but said the report raises questions serious questions about the superintendent’s effectiveness.
“Whether we have trust based leadership, and whether we as a district should place trust in that leader when that leader has violated that trust,” Jones said.
Miles receives a letter of reprimand and is put on a 90-day employee improvement, or growth plan. Board members also stripped a provision that provided a one-year contract extension with a favorable, “proficient” evaluation.
Miles sat calmly, without much expression during the discussion about firing him and then announcement of the sanctions against him. He was unavailable for comment, but has said he wants to “reset” his relationship with the board.
On Monday night, Dallas school board members voted 5-3 against firing Superintendent Mike Miles.
An independent investigation found that Miles violated district policy and his employment contract.
Trustee Carla Ranger made the motion to terminate the superintendent. She told colleagues that Miles' actions rise to fireable offenses, and that Miles has broken trust with the board and can no longer be effective as superintendent.
Board president Eric Cowan said that while the violations are extremely serious, they do not warrant termination.
After the motion failed, the school board went into closed session to talk about disciplinary action and conduct the superintendent's annual evaluation.