Facing possible accreditation loss, Davenport school leaders insist there’s nothing to worry about

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Davenport school board members and administrators are in the hot seat for education violations and mismanaging their money.

But they insist they’re doing the best they can and that parents shouldn’t be worried. 

“It’s a really bad situation,” says Estella Flores a Davenport parent. 

“A tragic thing for the kids because I know a lot of these kids and they love this school,” says another parent, Tyriaus Henderson. 

The concern comes as their school district finds itself in hot water.

In April, employees from the Iowa education department found Davenport schools in violation of seven areas. 

On Wednesday, school officials fielded two hours of questioning.

“What had happened, why it happened, how far were we in some of our compliance issues that we’re addressing right now, why weren’t we further ahead,” recounts Ralph Johanson, Davenport School Board president. 

Issues like mishandling the education plan for more than 2,000 special education students and black students more likely to be suspended, expelled or secluded than their white counterparts. 

“Administration is well on track to complete all of the required tasks in the original citations,” Johanson says. 

He says his team has been working hard to address those issues and that the Iowa education board members weren’t giving them enough credit when they voted for a second, more in-depth audit over the next couple months. 

“There were presumptions made by the state board about employees in our district,” he says. 

This time, if the state board isn’t satisfied with progress at Davenport schools, they could lose their license to operate.

“That’s so far down the road and it’s so hypothetical.” 

Johanson insists that’s not going to happen. 

“I don’t anticipate anything even close to something like losing accreditation,” he says. 

But for many parents, they just want to see action.

“They just need to figure out what’s best for the children and most people nowadays they are just worried about their pocketbook instead of worrying about our future and the children are our future,” says Betty Herrera, a Davenport parent.

The Davenport school district also came under fire for operating in the red for the past three years in a row. 

This month, board members approved a five-year budget plan that includes cutting more than 150 full time positions. 

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