Bettendorf School Board votes to end superintendent contract

Board members aren’t saying why they want to change district leadership, saying they can’t discuss personnel issues.

BETTENDORF, Iowa-- At its Monday, March 4 meeting, the Bettendorf School Board unanimously voted to not renew the district's contract with Superintendent Mike Raso. His contract would end in June 2020.

It's the first of two votes required to terminate the contract. Under Iowa law, superintendent contracts automatically renew for an additional year unless a school board takes action to terminate.

Raso joined the Bettendorf school district in 2008. He first served as the assistant then interim superintendent before entering his current role in 2016.

"Of course I'm a little disappointed," Raso says. "But we just move on. We've got a lot of things to do. A lot of things to be proud of in this district, and I do have a lot of support in this district. And we'll just continue to move forward."

The board president Adam Holland tells News 8 several board members wanted to explore this option for the school district. Board members aren't saying why they want to change district leadership, saying they can't discuss personnel issues.

The school board will have to vote again before March 15, 2020 to finalize the termination of Raso's contract. That vote could come after school board elections, and a new set of members could decide to move forward with a vote or allow the contract to renew.

Some parents say they weren't surprised by how the board voted tonight.

"There's been so much that the board seems to hide," says Kailey Fluegel, mother to a Thomas Jefferson third grader. "I don't know if that includes the superintendent or where that comes from, but it doesn't leave the community feeling good."

Fluegel says she's not happy how the district's expenses have grown during Raso's time as superintendent. She also says the board and superintendent struggle with transparency and listening to parents.

The next vote to terminate the superintendent contract will happen sometime after June 2019.