The Davenport School Board on Monday approved Superintendent Art Tate’s contract, without a salary increase, until June 30, 2020.
Board President Ralph Johanson said that the board wanted to extend the contract beyond that date, but Iowa state law says the agreement can be extended only three years.
He said Tate asked that his current salary of $203,761 would not increase. “That’s part of the character, part of the leadership, that most people here do admire,” Johanson said.
“For me, as a board member, the biggest thing he has done is put his professional life at risk,” said Rich Clewell.
“This district is so fortunate to have Dr. Tate here,” Clewell said.
Board member Julie DeSalvo said she concurred with Clewell, praising Tate for “his leadership, his guidance, his education, his perseverance.”
Clewell referenced Tate’s action that resulted in an ethics complaint lodged in 2016 by the Iowa Department of Education. The complaint is based on Tate's decision in October 2016 to spend district reserve funds to pay for programming costs in excess of allowable limits set by the state. The school board supported, and continues to support, his decision.
The Davenport Community School District does not have the spending authority, which is set by the state, to lawfully use the funds in its savings account.
Tate is scheduled to appear at 1 p.m. Feb. 6 before Administrative Law Judge Margaret LaMarche in the Department of Inspections and Appeals in Des Moines.
The matter could be resolved if Tate agrees to surrender his professional license or accept a lesser sanction, according to the filing.
In other action, the board:
• Appoved Johanson as a director for District 1 for the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency board of directors, and Ken Krumwiede as a director for the agency’s District 2. The agency is one of nine area education agencies in Iowa created by the 1974 Iowa Legislature to ensure all children have equal educational opportunities. The agencies serve as intermediate units providing educational services to local schools.
• Approved plans and specifications for the Sudlow Network Refresh Project, which includes updating network cabling, replacement of the paging system and conversion to a new telephone system at Sudlow Intermediate School.