The Davenport School Board will hold meetings this week and next to address issues involving special-education students and the Vision 2020 document about district plans.
A regular board meeting will be 6 p.m. Monday on the third-floor in the Jim Hester Board Room of the Davenport Schools Achievement Service Center, 1606 Brady St., Davenport.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, at a special-call open board meeting, the board will address a state audit of the Davenport special-education program that found the district in “systemic non-compliance” with parts of the federal law that governs education of students with disabilities.
The Iowa Department of Education has told the district to work with an adviser because the report shows a disproportionate number of students of color identified for special education services. It also shows a disproportionate number of minority special-education students who have been subjected to disciplinary actions such as being suspended or expelled or subject to seclusion or restraints
Additionally, the district must reconvene individualized education plan (IEP) meetings for 2,200 students and provide them compensatory education services, if students are owed them, at the district's cost. These are written plans that guide a student's education according to individual needs.
The board will hold a special committee-of-the-whole meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 21. Superintendent Art Tate has asked the board to determine whether it supports Vision 2020 as the platform for the board to respond to the district’s School Budget Review Committee and, if not, how the board intends to go forward to respond to the committee.
With reservations, the committee earlier approved a Davenport School District plan to reduce its spending during the school year 2018-19. The proposal includes early retirement incentives, staff reductions, fewer substitutes, possibly closing a school, changing bell times to reduce routes, delaying textbook purchases and energy-efficiency measures.
The district serves the communities of Blue Grass, Buffalo, Davenport and Walcott.