COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- 13 Investigates has learned an Athletic Director who suddenly separated from Falcon District 49 was working for more than a year and a half without an active principal's license as required by Colorado law.
State records show Brandon Monson, who started working at Vista Ridge High School as an Assistant Principal and Athletic Director in 2019, did not renew his principal's license after it expired on January 20, 2020. Records show Monson held an active principal's license with the state for five years before it expired, according to state education records.
Monson was one of four educators working in the administration office at Vista Ridge High School that suddenly separated from the school district this week. District 49 officials haven't answered questions around why the three assistant principals and a secretary abruptly left and wouldn't be returning.
A spokesperson for Falcon School District 49 confirms that an Athletic Director who works for D49 is required to hold an active principal's license with the State of Colorado. The spokesperson would not confirm to 13 Investigates if D49 officials knew about Monson's expired license because it was a personnel issue.
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) says school districts are notified yearly if there are educators working with an expired or inactive license.
"The accountability measure really lives within that district leadership," Colleen O'Neill with CDE told 13 Investigates.
While holding an active license is state law, O'Neill says that district officials and individual educators are responsible for ensuring that proper licensing is active.
"If a district requires a license, and that Board of Education requires licensed district personnel, especially if leadership, have chosen to ignore that, there are repercussions that could go against that own individual's license, or the board may choose their own local board of education could choose to take action for basically not following through on the Board of Education rules," O'Neill said.
It's unclear if Falcon District 49 Board of Education took any action related to Monson's expired license. CDE said despite being Colorado law, there aren't any immediate consequences for educators or districts for failure to hold proper licenses.
"There are no other consequences from the state, at this time." "Over the course of time like over multiple years, that could begin to impact the accountability, accreditation funding models, right, because the state laws are tied to funding as well. And the state law is that a principal or an assistant principal is supposed to have a license unless that is waived," O'Neill said.
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