DES MOINES, Iowa – On Thursday, the Des Moines School Board voted 4 to 3 not to extend District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ahart’s contract during a closed session.
Ahart’s current contract runs until 2023, and he currently earns more than $306,000 per year. The school board also voted not to provide Ahart a pay raise in the 2021-2022 school year.
Ahart faces the loss of his superintendent’s license due to the Des Moines School District starting the 2020-2021 school year with 100 percent online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several complaints allege that Ahart violated Iowa law that required the school district to submit a return to learn plan and provide at least 50 percent of their instruction in-person unless the Iowa Department of Education provided a waiver.
The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners gave Ahart a choice: He can surrender his professional administrator license or agree to a less severe sanction. Ahart has a hearing with an administrative law judge acting on behalf of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners on Thursday.
If his license is revoked, Ahart will be ineligible to serve as superintendent. If he can retain his license, Des Moines School Board could still later extend his contract.
Read the notice of hearing Ahart was sent in February from the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners:Thomas-Ahart-Notice-of-Hearing-Statement-of-Charges-Board-of-Educational-Examiners