DALLAS -- After about an hour-long executive session, the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to fire several teachers and just two principals.
Angela Davis, a spokesperson for National Education Association Dallas Chapter, told the crowd before a closed-door session she had been notified that 440 teachers had received non-renewal letters in the mail.
However, DISD spokeswoman Rebecca Rodriguez told News 8 in an e-mail that there weren't 440 teachers on the non-renewal list voted on by the board. She said that number was "significantly fewer."
The vote on the non-renewals of employee contracts came after months of controversy over DISD Superintendent Mike Miles' reforms, which included a principal evaluation plan that required principals to meet certain benchmarks or be fired.
Dozens of people packed the board room at DISD headquarters Thursday night in anticipation of the vote. At one point, a line of people snaked out the door, waiting for others to leave so they could take a seat.
Just two board trustees voted against the decision, District 6 Trustee Carla Ranger and District 9 Trustee Bernadette Nutall.
Initially, dozens of principals were thought to be in danger of losing their jobs. But on Wednesday, Linda Isaacks, the executive director of the Dallas Schools Administrators Association told News 8 she had heard the number would be closer to five. She said the number dwindled when some principals decided to retire or take other jobs.
The board voted Thursday only on two principals. The number of teachers voted on remains unclear. Rodriguez, the DISD spokesperson, told News 8 the number of teachers up for non-renewal is confidential.
One teacher at the session spoke publicly about receiving her non-renewal letter.
“I have been teaching for 39 years, and I’m not understanding why someone took away all of my career by signing me off on a non-renewal," said Nethrial Jordan, a teacher at Pearl C. Anderson Middle School.
NAACP Dallas chapter President Juanita Wallace said she had been notified that the two principals on the list were from Madison and Roosevelt High Schools.
Roosevelt High School Principal Lecia Shaver was under investigation for misspending thousands in grant money.
Parents and students at Madison High School have long believed their principal, Marian Willard, was on the list and just last week staged a protest in support of her.
During the course of the meeting, several people called on the board to give both teachers and principals more time to adjust to Miles’ reforms.
“Now I’m hearing all these good stories -- these success stories from the great James Madison and Lincoln, and even Sunset, and those principals are trying to go,” said Omar Jimenez. “Change takes time. It takes time.”
“As a proud parent of James Madison High School, we are totally frustrated with the way you have treated our community and our principal," said Christine Mullings.
Each teacher or principal submitted for non-renewal can get a due process hearing if they ask for one within 15 days.