Hudson at-risk coordinator put on administrative leave - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hudson at-risk coordinator put on administrative leave

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For nearly 20 years, Dave Lipinski has been the at-risk coordinator at Hudson Schools.

He doesn't have a teaching license, but he does have a master's degree in mental health counseling.

As of Friday, he has been put on administrative leave.

"However, for 19 years we were told it was OK because all my certification, all my experience, and all my skills met the job description just fine," said Lipinski.

Though the school hired Lipinski, the role of the at-risk coordinator was never really defined. But now, the Iowa Department of Education requires a teaching license.

However, according to Lipinski, every few years when checking in with the state, the Iowa Department of Education confirmed he was qualified.

Recently, someone made the school board aware Lipinski doesn't have his teaching license.

"I think he was fully qualified to do his job," said Hudson superintendent Tony Voss. "Our results in our program and the things that he has done in our district are fantastic."

One of the programs Voss is talking about got national attention. It's called the "Zero Tolerance" homework policy, and forces students to get their school work done before leaving school.

Lipinski says he does the job well and that program is proof of it. He says that a license shouldn't matter. 

"I have the desire to not just get back to Hudson to do work, but I want to make a difference for the state as well to say perhaps you need to reexamine how you're doing things and I'd love to help," said Lipinski.

Voss says they did reach a resolution last week with the Iowa Board of Education that would require Lipinski to take some training.

Voss says the cost of that would be $15,000 to $20,000. Lipinski says that would not be a good use of taxpayer resources. 

As for now, Voss says the principals at Hudson are taking over the duties Lipinski took on during the administration leave.

Lipinski and Voss will be heading to Des Moines to talk to the State Board of Education later this week. 

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