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Denied teacher contract returns to board

By Karen Colbenson

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

A teaching contract denied during an Austin School Board meeting Monday for the daughter of board member Dave Simonson will be discussed and voted on a second time during a special meeting Thursday.

The contract, one of many that was listed on the personnel agenda for the board’s consideration Monday, is for Tisha Simonson, who was slated to be hired Aug. 25 as a physical science teacher at Austin High School with a $54,619 annual salary.

The contract was denied by a 5-1 vote, with board member Curt Rude voting against it.

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Dave Simonson did not vote on the contract, citing a conflict of interest.

According to the district’s policy, because the contract was for a relative of a board member, a unanimous vote was needed for the contract to be approved.

The policy states, "The school board may not employ any teacher related by blood or marriage, within the fourth degree, computed by the civil law, to a school board member except by a unanimous vote of the full school board."

A special board meeting has been scheduled for 7 a.m. Thursday to again request approval of the contract.

Rude could not be reached for comment.

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