Will candidate for Dallas superintendent get outside work in new contract?

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by BRAD WATSON and JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on April 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 26 at 10:00 PM

DALLAS - The Dallas school board voted 8-1 Thursday night to name Mike Miles as the new superintendent.

Trustee Carla Ranger was the lone holdout, but she would not elaborate on her decision to vote against Miles.

Miles signed a contract for $300,000 a year, with no outside consulting permitted.

As superintendent of a Colorado Springs-area school district of 11,000 students, Miles got a base salary of $195,000 a year, plus incentive pay.

But a few days each month during the school year, the board there let him do outside consulting.

And at first, in an interview with News 8 before his hiring became official, he indicated he won't do that in Dallas.

"No, the board and I are working on a contract," he told us. "I suspect they, and I, won't have time to do the consulting that I did. Dallas is a much bigger system, of course."

Miles is one of four partners in the firm, Focal Point, that trains teachers and principals in other districts out of state.

He won't say how much he earns.

But when pressed, he said consulting is still on the table for his contract here.

"I said, we are working on a contract, so we'll, you know - that contract hasn't been signed yet," he said.

Some Dallas board members expressed concern the outside work could distract his attention in the 157,000-student district.

Rena Honea, leader of the district's largest teachers group, Alliance AFT, agrees.

"And if he's out consulting, doing speaking engagements, that does not benefit our students," Honea said.

About 10 years ago, former Dallas superintendent Mike Moses got 10 days a year for outside work. But he stopped consulting for one law firm after a report that he urged, and the board complied, to steer more business to it.

State law now bans superintendents from working for companies doing business with their district.

Miles said he'll follow the board's direction.

"Dallas will be different, and so if the board doesn't want me to consult, I won't be doing anything," he said.

Miles told News 8 he'd like to stay seven years in Dallas.

That's optimistic. The average tenure for a superintendent nationally is three years.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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