Viewpoint: School board should ask the tough questions
In times of conflict and diversity a leader's true strengths are shown. Superintendent Tim Collins showed his true colors by withdrawing his letter of intent to retire at the June 19 school board meeting. Was he too afraid to accept his fate regarding his retire and rehire scheme?
Does the decision by Collins mean the school district is left waiting out his contract until 2021? It appears the voices of the community and certain school board members listening were making Collins nervous.
Collins is bound by a contract with the school district, but wouldn't multiple infractions over the years constitute cause for termination?
- Paragraph II of Collins's contract states: "The Superintendent shall furnish throughout the life of this contract a valid and appropriate license to act as Superintendent in the State of Minnesota as provided by applicable laws, rules and regulations."
- Minnesota Administrative Rules statute 3512.1500, the issuance and renewal of licenses Subpart 1. Renewal: "A license to serve as superintendent, principal, or director shall bear the date of issue and the date of expiration and may be renewed on or before July 1 in the year of expiration." Subpart. 2. Expiration: "After July 1 in the year of expiration, a license to serve as superintendent, principal, or director shall be deemed expired and no longer valid for administration."
First offense: The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board website appears to show a lapse in Collins's license for a period of over four months in 2008. His license would have expired June 30, 2008. According to the website, Collins license renewal was registered on Nov. 14, 2008 and issued Nov. 17, 2008. Did this constitute a break in his contract and state law to be a licensed superintendent?
Second offense: The PELSB website also shows Collins's license may not have been timely renewed in 2003 as his license renewal was not issued until Dec. 1, 2003. Since his license was not renewed on or before July 1 as stated in state law above, was he again not working with a valid license in the school district?
Close call for 2019: Tim Collins' current license is set to expire June 30, 2019. Due to changing of the licensing statutes, many licenses were extended by one year which was the case for Collins from June 30, 20018 to June 30, 2019. Superintendent Collins did not submit his payment for the upcoming expiration of his license until June 20, 2019. He had a whole year. Why wait until last minute?
Were Collins's infractions known to the board at the time? Were they swept under the rug? Was he compensated during these periods of time while not being properly licensed? Did our district pay an unlicensed superintendent?
It's time for the Hastings School Board to take control of the narrative of our district. Ask questions, investigate, talk to teachers and employees, and make the hard decisions that this community needs. The board needs to do what is right for the students, teachers and community of Hastings. The community is looking for a leader we can trust.
"Leadership is not about being in charge, it is about taking care of people in your charge," — Simon Sinek