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DCSS looks at drastic changes

ALBANY -- With six months remaining in the FY2012 budget, the Dougherty County School System Finance Committee is looking at how best to cope with an anticipated $9 million shortfall in next year's budget.

Cuts, consolidation of schools and outsourcing of some services were items kicked around at the unusually lengthy Tuesday morning meeting.

"Everything is on the table," Superintendent Joshua Murfree said.

Not surprisingly, all three committee members had ideas on how to deal with the budget deficit.

"I think we need to take a hard look at teacher supplements, starting with coaches supplements," committee chair Anita Williams-Brown said. "We need to look at any signs of overpayment in the system."

"We're in a crunch and we need to look at every money-saving option possible," said committee member Carol Tharin.

"We have too many schools. We don't need anymore buildings. We have to consolidate some schools," said School Board Chairman James Bush.

Consolidation has always been a hot button topic in Dougherty County and a sure-fire generator of angry phone calls to BOE members.

Williams-Brown warned the committee that the mere hint of school consolidation would start a firestorm of controversy.

Considering the BOE has spent millions on renovations at Monroe, Westover and Albany high schools, and is just beginning work at Dougherty High, it would appear those schools may be safe. So any consolidation would likely occur within the system's six middle and 16 elementary schools.

"I think we'll have to take a look at school occupancy numbers," Murfree said. "If we have a school running at 25 to 30 percent of capacity then we have to ask ourselves if that school needs to remain where it is."

In action taken Tuesday, the committee voted to send before the full board a merchant services contract to provide the system with the ability to process credit and debit cards; a new accounting software system for the system; approval of surplus asset sales; warehouse restock bids for custodial and art, office and instructional supplies; and bids on network, software and wireless Internet service.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 11 months ago

I bet Murfree could get by with about half his salary....still keeping him in the top 5% of incomes in the USA at slightly over $100,000. Especially if he hasn't gotten that certification yet that he was supposed to get....................?

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43cop 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, it's about time they put them all together with consolidation. This school board has wasted money for the past twenty (20) years and they are still paying the "cheaters" their normal salary, so short can be expected. I do not understand why the Governor will not step in and remove them and look at the school board members too. Guess he is afraid of offending someone in the system, but the evidence is there, so let's move on it.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 11 months ago

If our governor was still Sunny, I bet he would have them running scared. Deal is too much of a push over, IMHO.

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 11 months ago

Here's a clue--give the powers that be a two thirds pay cut and make him EARN the cut salary back. Stop paying those that are currently showing up for work at Isabella to do who knows what and getting full salary in the process. Those who lied about income to get free lunches, get rid of them.

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waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

The cuts will have to come from the Non-Contract employees according the the Lawyer. Afterall the contract is why the identified Cheaters are still being paid. Plus nine million isn't any small short-fall. You property owners had best get involved now, because next chance they get the Milliage rate will be going up to cover this and extra to return the service they had to give up for the time being. Plus I imagine a law suit or two.

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HalfFan 2 years, 11 months ago

Make all the info needed for the budget made public on the Web and then invite the public and all those that wish to become board members or those that are civic minded make suggestions.

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Cartman 2 years, 11 months ago

'...committee chair Anita Williams-Brown said. "We need to look at any signs of overpayment in the system."'

You can start with Murfree's salary. Compare it to his certificate. Oh wait!

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years, 11 months ago

The school system here just needs a make over. From what I have seen, the assistant principals are the hardest working people in the school and get no credit for their hard work. They are the glue that holds the schools together, because if the kids continue to disrupt the school, then no learning will ever take place. Some of them need to be the Principals, while the current Principals need to go ahead and retire, or let go. Today's kids need young fresh leadership who they can relate to. As far as the top-dogs running everything in the nice building......the jury is still out on them....and its not looking good.

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dingleberry 2 years, 11 months ago

I agree with looking at athletics. When you have coaches drawing, in the only two cases I looked at, in the $100,000 range not including any county and coaching supplement, we are putting a lot of money into non-academics. Has anyone ever looked at what athletics cost, how much money it brings in, and what happens to that money?

Not bad pay for 9 months work, eh?

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