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State moving to strip Des Moines Public Schools superintendent of license over in-person learning

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 3:25 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) -The superintendent of Iowa’s largest school district is at risk of losing his administrator license.

According to a report by WOI in Des Moines, a document filed on February 3rd with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners alleges Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ahart violated Iowa law by not submitting or implementing a lawful return-to-learn plan for the 2020-21 school year.

This all stems from the district deciding to start the school year with 100% remote learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, Iowa law required at least 50% of instruction to be in-person unless a district was granted a temporary waiver for 100% remote learning.

Reynolds has since signed into law requirements that schools at least offer an in-person learning option, saying in late January that “it’s time to put local control into the hands of parents where it belongs.”

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners is seeking to strip Des Moines Public Schools...
The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners is seeking to strip Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ahart of his administrator license for failing to submit or implement a plan to return students to the classroom for the 2020-21 school year.(facebook.com/@DMschools)

The Board of Educational Examiners has given Ahart two choices: He can surrender his Professional Administrator License or agree to accept a lesser sanction.

In its notice of hearing and statement of charges, the board says it received complaints on September 30th and October 21th regarding Des Moines Public School not returning to the classroom. It was on January 14th that “the Board found probable cause to proceed to hearing,” the filing states.

Ahart is scheduled to appear before an administrative law judge, who is acting on behalf of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, on May 20th.

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