Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles responds to allegations he diverted Texas school funds to his Colorado schools (2024)

HOUSTONHouston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles is calling allegations that he diverted Texas school money to his charter schools in Colorado “irresponsibly inaccurate.”

His Thursday response comes after a report by Spectrum News that resulted in calls for a federal investigation by the Houston Teachers Federation, a coalition group of parents, teachers, and students, and Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis. Miles is also enduring tumultuous backlash from some parents and teachers after widespread job cuts to close a $450 million budget gap, along with a growing number of teachers and principals finding out they will not be asked back next year.

Recommended Videos

  • Teacher turnover and more job cuts for Houston ISD

The Spectrum News report accused Miles of using Texas Public Education Funds -- taxpayer funds -- for his charter schools in Texas to cover costs for his Third Future Schools charter operation in Colorado.

Miles said the report intentionally misrepresents the financial practices of Third Future Schools, which he has not worked at for more than a year.

“I have an obligation to make very clear that during my tenure Third Future Schools was always a responsible steward of every public dollar received, all financial agreements and obligations were approved by local boards of directors, authorizers, and in our Texas schools, the school district with which TFS partnered. Eight different districts in three states have trusted Third Future Schools with the education of their most underserved students and have overseen TFS’s overall financial health and propriety. Third Future Schools has a consistent track record of clean audits year over year, and I have no reason to believe that is any different now. These baseless claims cheapen the hard work and dedication of thousands of staff and students,” Miles said.

The report alleges that Miles’s three charter schools in Colorado were struggling. No longer the CEO, but in a consulting role, the report says Miles recommended they close a school due to declining enrollment and asked the board of directors to find the money needed to pay off the debt they’d incurred, and that two million dollars was sent to the Colorado operation.

SEE ALSO: Pink slip Friday at Houston ISD with jobs being eliminated and changed

In his letter, Miles explains that the central office that oversees charter schools in both states is located in Colorado, and that this is a common practice.

“Administrative fees are applied to all schools in all states in order for the central office to oversee and monitor the schools as well as provide network-wide supports (such as finance and human resources) from people and departments in the central office, which is located in Colorado. This is common practice for charters and other independent partnership schools and is not only allowed, but anticipated by Texas’ education law. Spectrum News either intentionally or, through gross incompetence, mischaracterized these commonplace financial arrangements between charter schools and the charter management organizations that support them,” Miles said.

Miles accused the Spectrum News report of working to undermine progress he said was made in Dallas ISD.

“It appears he is resurrecting old tactics that are not worth more time and attention. I do not intend to comment further on these spurious assertions. I am committed to staying focused on the tremendous challenge of improving Texas’ largest district,” Miles said.

SEE ALSO: Teacher turnover and more job cuts for Houston ISD


Houston Federation of Teachers President Jackie Anderson called the allegations in the report about Miles a “betrayal of trust.”

Anderson said Miles is treating the HISD public school system as his own personal piggy bank.

“Just days after learning that Mike Miles is laying off hundreds of custodians, librarians and removing popular principals from our schools, we are now learning that he’s treating our public school system as his own personal piggy bank,” said Jackie Anderson. “The diversion of Texas public funds to shore up his private charter school company in Colorado is an outrageous betrayal of trust and requires a federal criminal investigation. The corruption of this deal stretches beyond just Mike Miles - the board of managers is also complicit in this shadowy scheme by failing to provide oversight and transparency. Greg Abbott’s takeover of our schools has failed. Teachers, students, and their families deserve better and in response, we are demanding the immediate resignation of Mike Miles and the immediate exit of the TEA from HISD.” - Anderson

SEE ALSO: Houston ISD parents, teachers protest ‘resign or terminate’ ultimatum given to principal

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis said he was shocked by what he saw in the report.

“This also calls into question every dollar he has spent as superintendent. While teacher benefits are being slashed, libraries are being closed, and support staff are being let go, HISD parents and taxpayers deserve a robust and timely investigation to ensure that tax dollars are being used appropriately and ethically. This is especially true at a time when the district is under the direct control of the State and not accountable to a locally elected board.”

Community Voices for Education (CVPE), a coalition of teachers, parents, and students is also calling for an investigation.

“The results of this bombshell investigation should serve as a wakeup call for parents, students, and teachers who aren’t already outraged about Greg Abbott’s takeover of our school system,” said Ruth Kravetz, a former HISD chemistry teacher and co-founder of the Community for Voices of Public Education. “Greg Abbott opened the door to this type of fraud by installing an unelected board of managers and putting Mike Miles in charge of our schools. We’ve warned for years that laundering taxpayer dollars and giving it to private schools was part of their plan, and now we have the receipts to prove it. This scheme goes beyond bad policy or governance, it’s corruption and we’re calling for a federal investigation into this scheme along with the immediate resignation of Miles. Houston deserves a public education system run by competent, democratically elected representatives who share our values and are in it for the right reasons. We won’t stop fighting until that happens.”

Stay informed with KPRC 2's Breaking News Alerts.

Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.

Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles responds to allegations he diverted Texas school funds to his Colorado schools (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arline Emard IV

Last Updated:

Views: 5688

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arline Emard IV

Birthday: 1996-07-10

Address: 8912 Hintz Shore, West Louie, AZ 69363-0747

Phone: +13454700762376

Job: Administration Technician

Hobby: Paintball, Horseback riding, Cycling, Running, Macrame, Playing musical instruments, Soapmaking

Introduction: My name is Arline Emard IV, I am a cheerful, gorgeous, colorful, joyous, excited, super, inquisitive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.