Iowa temporarily replaces 2 top Davenport school officials


DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Iowa school regulators temporarily removed Friday the top two officials in the Davenport school district amid concerns about inequities in discipline for minority students, inadequate special education and school safety.

The State Board of Education decided to replace Superintendent Robert Kobylski and Chief Financial Officer Claudia Wood while the district rectifies deficiencies, the Des Moines Register reported.

The Iowa Department of Education said in a news release that Davenport schools had consistently failed to make progress on goals outlined by the state over the past three years and called the decision “a critical step” toward ensuring a quality education in a safe and secure environment.

Davenport was cited in 2018 after officials determined a higher percentage of minority students were being identified for special education services. The state also found that more minority students were subject to suspension and expulsion.

The district was placed on conditional accreditation in May 2019.

The Department of Education said the district’s final report lacked sufficient progress to address school safety concerns and to ensure minority students are treated fairly. It also did not show significant progress on financial stability.

“This call for a change in leadership is a step warranted by Davenport top school officials’ inaction,” the news release said.

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