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Dallas School Board - Still No Decision On Miles. They'll Meet With Him Thursday

Bill Zeeble

The Dallas school board will meet Thursday with Superintendent Mike Miles to discuss the findings of the independent investigation by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins. They gathered in closed session this morning to discuss the Coggins report,  but did nothing, and said little after it ended.

The report said Miles was not guilty of bullying a cabinet member or of pulling a vendor/contract item from a school board agenda. But it concluded he talked to witnesses involved in a school district  investigation of him, which is against policy. It also concluded Miles may have helped write a cabinet member’s resignation letter to make board members look bad while making Miles look good.

Coggins said some of Mr. Miles’ actions provided good cause for dismissal.

Today, School Board President Eric Cowan said Thursday’s closed session meeting will still not be the one where trustees decide to keep or dismiss Miles, based on the Coggins report (nor will it constitute his annual evaluation, planned for later this month).

But when that meeting is scheduled, it will take at least five of the eight trustees  to vote to fire him. If they keep him, anti-Miles protest leader Joyce Foreman says she’ll keep protesting.

“We are here and we plan to stay here until we run Mike Miles out of town. And if the board can’t do their job, then we need to organize to be able to run them out of office.”

Foreman and thirty others protested outside the school administration building before the board convened Saturday morning. Another protester was retired teacher Bill Betzen, who carried a sign reading “79% of Dallas says fire him.” Betzen said Miles’ possible involvement in the resignation letter sends the wrong message to students.

“You can see the ethics he’s teaching our students by his own actions. We don’t want that manner of ethics to be mixed with the concept of education reform. We must keep it pure and good.”

The trustee’s closed session lasted almost five hours. President Cowan said “we laughed, we cried, we yelled, we all got along.”

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.