Growing Tension At DISD Despite Budget Approval

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas ISD staff members will receive their first pay raise in three years in 2014 under a new budget approved by trustees. The budget was approved at a meeting which adjourned just after 1 a.m. Friday morning. But amid growing tension surrounding Superintendent Mike Miles’ decisions and perceived priorities, some are calling move a slap in the face.

Superintendent Mike Miles is implementing his plan for DISD. What he wants, and what others say the district needs, invariably may mean disagreement for all to see.

“It’s time this board look in the mirror, and how we set the culture of this district,” according to Dallas ISD Board President Eric Cowan.

All employees, with the exception of executive directors and above, will receive a two percent hike in their pay. The district will also increase the amount it pays for employees’ insurance premiums by as much as $900 throughout the year.

The School District’s approved 1.2 billion dollar budget will include disputed plans to use millions on an academy to develop future principals, created by Superintendent Mike Miles.

“The raise barely keeps pace with living costs, and sends a troubling message to teachers,” said Dianne Reed, a DISD teacher and past president of the Association of Texas Professional Educators. She said given the fact that most teachers buy things for their own classroom… a 2-percent raise won’t help them break even.

Superintendent Miles also faced opposition to a targeted investment of money and resources for South and West Dallas schools.

The plan passed, but critics argued Miles didn’t include the community in the plan.

Within the past six months, six of Miles’ top staffers have left, including one facing criminal charges. Three resigned within the past week.

“But we got to get on the same page, or its going to fail, fall apart,” said Cowan.

The complete budget is posted on the district’s website for public review.

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