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Trustee Mike Morath worked to keep Joyce Foreman off Dallas ISD school board

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Dallas Morning News

By:  Matthew Hagg

Dallas ISD trustee Mike Morath gave $15,000 to a school board candidate this summer to help her defeat Joyce Foreman, who won the District 6 seat.

Morath provided Bertha Bailey Whatley $10,000 in money and another $5,000 worth of consulting, according to Whatley’s campaign finance report filed in late July. Trustees have generally stayed out of elections and avoided making endorsements and donating money. Former board member Jack Lowe was criticized in 2009 for endorsing candidates and giving $500 to them.

Kurt Watkins, Whatley’s campaign manager, said that Morath decided to give the $15,000 after Whatley and Foreman were headed for the June runoff election. Whatley and Foreman knocked off three other District 6 candidates in the May general election but neither one of them got more than 50 percent of the vote.

Whatley got more votes than Foreman in the May election and also raised more than $100,000 more in campaign donations. But Foreman defeated Whatley in a landslide in the runoff.

Morath has become more outspoken this year about his displeasure with many school board members. He is also a vocal supporter of the home-rule effort and has mentioned that the Texas law would allow DISD to modify its governance structure.

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