Davenport family sounds off to save superintendent’s job

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DAVENPORT -- A mother-daughter team is on a mission to save the Davenport Community School District superintendent's job.

They're launching an e-mail campaign directed at Iowa decision-makers.

"Please reject this ethics complaint," wrote Jayme Hansen, December 19, 2016,  in a message to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

Dr. Art Tate could lose his job after revealing that his district intends to keep illegally spending cash reserves.

"It would be immoral not to use the reserves, regardless of consequences," he said during a meeting in Des Moines on December 13, 2016.

Davenport schools continue to protest a state funding formula that shortchanges its students. Some neighboring districts can spend up to an extra $175 per student.

"We have an obligation as a department to file an ethical complaint when we're aware of misconduct," said Staci Hupp, Iowa Department of Education.

But the Hansens say it's unfair to penalize a superintendent fed up with legislative inaction.

"All students should be treated equally with education funding," Jayme said.

"He's putting his job on the line to try to protect our funding," added her daughter, Hannah Hansen, who graduated from Davenport Central High in 2016.

The Hansens hope their message will help the superintendent and pinpoint the district's funding dilemma.

"If Dr. Tate were to lose his license, he wouldn't be our leader," Jayme said.  "That would be a loss for the district."

"He genuinely cares about us," added Hannah, 18, now a freshman at Drake University.

The state could reject or accept Tate's case over the next six months.

Jayme Hansen, though, isn't wasting any time to deliver her message.

"There has to be a way to solve this," she concluded.  "I'm willing to help in any way possible."

It just might help to save a superintendent's job.