DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Dallas Independent School District has sent a letter to more than 150 other districts in Texas, asking them to avoid hiring DISD teachers who did not resign in a timely fashion according to state regulations.
While teachers had until July 12 to turn in their resignations, Alliance-AFT President Rena Honea said exceptions should be made for those with extenuating circumstances. "While there's a definite need for district's to know how many vacancies they're gonna have and everything, a lot of times many employees situations change and they don't have control over that. If they were not able to meet that deadline, there should be some consideration for that and I hope the district would recognize it."
Honea has held the position that Superintendent Mike Miles has created a hostile work environment for teachers. "It seems like amid the chaos and turnover at the top level of the district, there's really a lack of leadership," she said. "I think it's very sad that the district has taken this stand with the employees that have endured disrespect, fear and intimidation all year long... yet they continued to educate their students as much as they were able and allowed to do so."
Dallas school district officials said nearly 1,000 teachers submitted their resignations in June and - this month - there have been more than 300 resignations.
Honea said the only district that seems to have issue with teachers in the DISD is the DISD. "It's kind of amazing that these other district's see the quality in these people that are leaving Dallas ISD, yet the district didn't seem to recognize that. It's a great loss for our students."
Citing the independent investigation into the conduct of Superintendent Miles (and his handling of a $200,000 service contract) as the most serious issue facing the district and educators, Honea said - ultimately - it isn't the adults who are hurt the most. "A major, critical concern is that every classroom have a certified teacher standing in front of those students, so that our class sizes don't enlarge more than they need to be, and substitutes don't have to be utilized in great numbers," she said. "Obviously, the concern is for the students to be able to receive the quality instruction that they need."
Last week, DISD school board trustees made the decision to hire former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Paul Coggins to take over the investigation of Superintendent Miles. Coggins' official job will be to examine a detailed report completed by the DISD Office of Professional Responsibility.
State law requires teachers to submit their resignation at least 45-days before instruction for the next school year begins. With there being less than a month before the start of classes, the district is threatening to report any DISD teacher leaving now to the Texas State Board for Educator Certification.
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