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DCSS makes inroads with 2011 budget

The Dougherty County School System ended December $1.2 million under budget, officials say.

Dougherty County School Board Chair James Bush leans over to talk to Superintendent Joshua Murfree in this file photo.

Dougherty County School Board Chair James Bush leans over to talk to Superintendent Joshua Murfree in this file photo.

ALBANY, Ga. — As Dougherty County School System officials wait to hear from Atlanta exactly how rough cuts to the FY 2013 budget will be, staff members say they’re making progress toward cutting their budget.

DCSS Finance Director Robert Lloyd briefed board members Wednesday and said that when the books were closed for the month of December, the system was $1.2 million under budget for the year.

On a month-by-month basis, the system came in more than $300,000 under budget for December.

If the system can keep that momentum, it could go a long way toward softening the anticipated $9 million shortfall DCSS is expecting to hit during the next fiscal year.

Maintaining a budget figure in the black will be tough, Lloyd said, pointing to rising fuel costs that are already trending higher than what was budgeted for the system.

Balancing the budget, a requirement of both the state and local governments, is a hot-button topic for the board, which is already furloughing teachers 10 days.

The predicted FY 2013 shortfall has some on the board talking about layoffs. Board Member Darrel Ealum said he was dissatisfied with how the board’s Finance Committee and DCSS staff were keeping the board informed as to the measures being considered to address the shortfall.

“At no time have I received any information on how we’re going to close this $9 million gap, how we’re going to avoid furloughing teachers or how we’re going to go about asking for more waivers for class sizes,” Ealum said.

When School Board Chairman James Bush told Ealum there were essentially two options — furlough teachers or lay them off — Ealum answered bluntly.

“I’d rather cut some positions and consolidate schools and pay the rest full pay rather than keep furloughing everybody,” Ealum said.

Ealum’s comments prompted a response from board member Anita Williams-Brown, the Finance Committee chair, who said she planned to give the staff an opportunity to see what directives would be coming from Atlanta and then formulate a plan, rather than dictate what they should do.

“I’m not going to micromanage the staff; I’m waiting for the superintendent to bring us a recommendation,” Williams-Brown said. “If you want to take me off that committee, that’s fine but I’m not going to micromanage.”

Ealum ended the discussion with a final comment.

“I’m not going to back off the fact that we need more information,” he said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4e1Sd3ldEU

Comments

FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 11 months ago

Here is a clue on how to balance this--FIRE THOSE WHO BREAK THE LAW. DO NOT SUSPEND WITH PAY, DO NOT REPAY RETIREMENT TO TEACHERS/PRINCIPALS WHO CHEATED ON THE CRCT, DO NOT SLAP THOSE WHO FALSIFIED RECORDS FOR FREE LUNCHES. I bet this alone will come close to balancing the budget without furloughs or laying people off. Get rid of the compost and keep the flowers.

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 11 months ago

“I’d rather cut some positions and consolidate schools and pay the rest full pay rather than keep furloughing everybody,” Ealum said. Maybe this isnt such a bad idea. When a recent school flooded, they shipped the entire student body to two schools... only two schools. None of these elementary schools are overcrowded (with the exception of maybe Lake Park) so why can't we look into this? But instead of letting the empty school(s) sit and rot, try to sell them. And I know some might say, "maybe the DCSS will clean up their act and people will want to put their children back into the system and they will need these 'not used' schools" but do you REALLY think that's gonna happen?

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Jacob 2 years, 11 months ago

Here's another idea to solve the budget crisis. Let's buy the school board for what its worth, and then sell it for what it thinks its worth.

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rock 2 years, 11 months ago

During 2011 the Jacksonville Fla School board had said it was going to have to do away with the entire athletics programs system wide, due to Insurance costs, Uniforms, travel expenses etc. etc. had it not been for private fundings, and colleges steping up to help, This would have come to fruition. Maybe it is time for the DCSS to reevaluate the costs of this as well. It costs the DCSS 150.00 to recondition on football helmet . Multiply that cost for each of the 4 high schools and add all the other expenses and there could be a substantial savings. Now, I will hear where Athletics is too important to let go. I somewhat agree, if it is so important, then parents/guardians should pay for the student athlete to play. When it comes to education, furloughs, 9 million shortfalls, rises in the millage rates, it may be time take a hard look at just what is a value added endevour. Yes, I played baseball my entire HS/College/Military career. I love baseball, but when it comes to my childrens educations, I need them educated and prepared for is next in their world, and not so much on their athletic records.

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dingleberry 2 years, 11 months ago

It is difficult to say what athletics cost DCSS but it is high. Some of the expenses, including salary for "athletics personnel" which is likely the "coaches supplement", is shown on open,ga,gov with search for Payments. The athletic salary payments alone is a about $1.06 million.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 11 months ago

You could also get rid of these military recruiters. DCSS pays them and govt. reaps benefits. They are retirees already drawing money for that.

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rock 2 years, 11 months ago

Where in the world are recruiters bad by the DCSS. They are paid Military pay by the United States military. It is not a pay me and I will recruit you children; 3/4 of the HS students in this area of the south cannot read at level and are not eligible for the Military.

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Black_Falcon 2 years, 11 months ago

The DCSS is caught in a vicious cycle that it will be difficult to escape from. First, the school system is perceived by many to be poor, corrupt, and ineffective. This causes many people, who are able, to move away from the area and send their kids to another school district. This loss of property tax revenue directly impacts the DCSS’s budget. Second, because of the poor levels of academic achievement ascribed to the Albany area, businesses are reluctant to move there. This forces the more educated citizens to move away from the area for better employment opportunities. What remains is a citizenry that votes color over competence, and because of this, the DCSS is able to repeat the cycle with little fear of repercussions.

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 11 months ago

you stated the system is perceived by many to be poor, corrupt and ineffective. Sorry to break it to you, but the school board IS poor, corrupt and ineffective.

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waltspecht 2 years, 11 months ago

Real cuts would have to deal with the athletic programs, the teacher training, the excess administrators and the huge mound of paperwork that has been dumped on Teachers. It is time for teaching the basics and not chasing every new fad or gadget program. It is time to look a special needs and the additional involved costs above and beyond standard education. It is time for hard love for all the Students and Teachers. The system is carrying too much of a load for the Mule to support. You either reduce the load, or you kill the Mule. Hard facts, but I still remember the individuals complaining about supporters not being bussed to Football games, when did that ever get started?

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dingleberry 2 years, 11 months ago

We need to quit paying for non-applicable advanced degrees. In one area system, there is an english teacher with an advanced forensic psychology degree and an IT head with a doctorate in history or some such. If it is not required by or applicable to the basic job there should not be extra money paid simply because it is possessed. No need, no extra pay.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 11 months ago

The biggest problem in the school system is the difficulty to fire/move teachers who are ineffective. The Principal's try to write these teachers up have them removed but their requests are often denied by the higher office. (i don't know why) The Principals need to have more support with their decisions to run their own schools. Teachers with tenure are hard to remove. If they suck, then the school's test scores will suck. That may be why some got caught up in that cheating stuff to try and make their schools look better.

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coachjack43 2 years, 11 months ago

you know why..its the black thing..this school system here is terrible..you have a superintendent that was unqualified and he keeps teachers in paying positions after they have admitted to cheating..we have to start being honest with ourselves and admitting that the black culture and white culture think different..its time to start having conversations about being seperate and not forcing one culture down another..it is just not working..call it it what you want but it is truth

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow, coachjack43...so, what else is the Klan thinking about today?

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