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BOE may cut supplements, sports

From left, Dougherty County School Board member Darrel Ealum and Superintendent Joshua Murfree talk after a called meeting of the BOE Tuesday. The 90-minute open public meeting was called to discuss the upcoming FY 2012-13 budget.

From left, Dougherty County School Board member Darrel Ealum and Superintendent Joshua Murfree talk after a called meeting of the BOE Tuesday. The 90-minute open public meeting was called to discuss the upcoming FY 2012-13 budget.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County School Board held a special called meeting Tuesday to discuss the upcoming FY2012-13 budget, and discussions included possible cuts in the athletic programs, school closings and teacher supplements.

See Dougherty County Salaries here

With the school board concerned about salaries, check out this link to see the salaries of DCSS personnel.

http://bit.ly/yWUum7

"Every year it seems that educational programs bear the burden of most of the cuts," BOE chairman James Bush said to kick off the 90-minute meeting. "I think we need to speak of possible cuts in our athletics programs, capacity and occupancy of our schools to see if any need to be closed and then we need to take a close look at the supplements we are paying our teachers, coaches and administrators."

The system is estimating a $9 million shortfall in next fiscal year's budget and Bush called for the open meeting to get the Board's input on how to best address that deficit. The state mandates that the DCSS must turn in a balanced budget by June 30.

DCSS Superintendent Joshua Murfree quickly addressed teacher furloughs and the possibility of consolidating some system's 26 schools, which educate nearly 16,000 students.

"We have a consulting firm that specializes in this area set to deliver recommendations to us on April 9," Murfree said. "Their report will deal with possible consolidation, rezoning and repurposing some of our schools to save us some dollar bills.

"So far we are $1.4 million (under budget) and we are anticipating getting another $1.3 in equalization money for $2.7 heading into the next budget. I'd love for us to be able to lose three furlough days next year."

The FY2011-12 budget includes 10 teacher furlough days which saved the system approximately $6 million.

DCSS Director of Finance and Operations Robert Lloyd addressed athletics, said "there have been no cuts in athletics and that is an area we are going to look into."

That sparked an emotional response from Board Member Milton "June Bug" Griffin.

"I am totally against even involving athletics in these discussions," Griffin said. "If anything those guys (coaches) need more money. They are like fathers to many of those kids."

Board member David Maschke asked Lloyd for a list of DCSS employees being "being compensated beyond the level set forth in the state teacher salary guide, and for a list of people who are currently being paid above what their positions warrant."

"It's past time for us to take a serious look at our payroll, because that's 90 percent of our budget," Maschke said. "Our classrooms need to be the last place we look to when making cuts rather than the first place. We need to start getting serious about our personnel. We might need to look at putting a RIF (Reduction In Force) plan in place."

"It's time for the administration to address these financial realities."

To see the salaries of Dougherty County School System employees, click HERE.

Then Bush added, "I'm with Mr. Maschke. I'd like to see a little action. We all know we need to actually do something other than have meetings."

Board Member Velvet Riggins went a step farther.

"I think it's time we begin looking at our top case administrators and curriculum staff," she said. "Our test scores have not improved in the past five years. We're not educating our children to the best of our ability.

"I want us to look at our salaries and that a RIF might be necessary. Let's review each person."

Anita Williams-Brown thinks the DCSS needs to focus on reducing supplement costs rather that laying off people.

"We have the highest supplements in the region," Williams-Brown said. "That's when people want to teach in the Dougherty County School System. We have some coaches making almost as much as the superintendent. That's not right.

"But I want to thank or staff and teachers. We have some very good teachers in our system, and we want to keep everyone employed.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 4 months ago

Great tactic......pay a "consulting firm" to make the recommendations that should be obvious to any idiot. Then you can either play the Hero (like Obama did with His debt commission) by disagreeing OR you can just do what they recommend and make THEM the scapegoat.

Real leadership makes the hard decisions, owns those hard decisions, and takes the flack but stays the course. Which one will ol' Number 34 take?

I must agree with June Bug "the coaches are like fathers to those athletes" because most of them don't have a frikking idea who their father is. Which is the basic HEART of the problem in this community. Who's working on that one??????????

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 4 months ago

Hey Hoss Murfree.......lean into your work......you might get some momentum going. Loosen that bow tie.....take off that jacket.......expand your mind.........find a less comfortable chair........drop the thousand yard stare...........grab this baby by the balls........get rid of the dead weight........bring in some talented, dedicated young people who won't sign the Union card...............who really want to make an impact on kids' lives............you might make a difference.

Right now the way you're going.......not so much.

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CJ_Fan 2 years, 4 months ago

Sis Sis WAKE UP WAKE UP your dreaming.

Sorry but you must face reality!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 4 months ago

Sorry CJ......I forgot this one: ..........reject your $7k raise............

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CJ_Fan 2 years, 4 months ago

My gosh do these people realize what they are saying is being recorded? One says

"It's past time for us to take a serious look at our payroll, because that's 90 percent of our budget. "Our classrooms need to be the last place we look to when making cuts rather than the first place”.

Excellent point but Then one says

"I am totally against even involving athletics in these discussions, If anything those guys (coaches) need more money.”

And then the Velvet Thief (sorry she has only been booked on charges and Not proven to be a convict yet while trying for a plea deal)

"Our test scores have not improved in the past five years. We're not educating our children to the best of our ability”.

O they get plenty of education alright, only problem it is how to lie, cheat and steal and not book learning. Come on DCSS Board keep those GREAT examples for our kids coming....

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chinaberry25 2 years, 4 months ago

They could do away with 20+ cheerleaders in each high school. When I was in school we only had 12 or so.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 4 months ago

As long as you continue to build low income homes you will always be strapped for cash. 85% according to your DCSS website are on free or reduced lunches. Many are in free houses and pay no taxes. In fact they get taxes back on the EIC and go to a tax preparer that is getting rich off of the payday loan at 25% interest to have money in 24 hours. Hence you have welfare babies clogging up the system and no money coming in. Businesses are closing like crazy. You have very little timber tax base in Do. County and folks that pay taxes are leaving in droves. I was at a strip mall yesterday and 9 businesses have closed since last month. Albany cannot survive this and Marine Base is not too far behind. We have to poor schools to thank for that.

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dingleberry 2 years, 4 months ago

Albany's main industry is poverty--the more we have, the more we get. Hence the desire to build more and more subsidized housing. It is very likely poverty generates more money than Phoebe if you can imagine that. If you know where to look, you will see "shovel ready" stimulus money went to low rent projects under Sec 8 as a rent subsidy. There are complexes getting annual supplements of over $2 million--the folks at Cutliff Grove did us a favor by being inept and spending only $500K or so.

Politicians are interested only in staying in power so don't expect things that should be done to even be considered.

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LuLu 2 years, 4 months ago

How about starting with 34's paycheck? He makes almost $19,000 more than they're telling us!

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waltspecht 2 years, 4 months ago

A Schools job is to educate the minds of the students, academically. The Sports program is just an add on that has been thrown into the mix. I tire of hearing about the people that wouldn't be coming to school if it weren't for their ability to participate in sports. I wonder about those that do their school work and would love to play on the team, but can't because that spot is occupied by someone that isn't doing their school work, but plays well. Plus, what do these teams add to the academic sucess of the school? Now some teams may seem to be a monetary success, they don't contribute much academically. If you need the exercise for the students, go to calestetics for everyone, and that will benefit the many versus the few.

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jglass 2 years, 4 months ago

Why not look into reducing the sports programs? June Bug, sports is not the reason to go to school. It is about time to STOP taking from the teachers, the most important part of the education system. Looking at salaries and supplements? Well, start with Mr. Murfree, the entire staff on Pine Avenue, and then the teachers in place that are making more than they are qualified to make. Didn't Maschke do an investigation not long ago showing where people were hired, not qualified, and put in different positions, but their pay remained the same? This is absolutely wrong. The pay should fit the position they are currently occupying. And then to continuously pay "consulting firms", quit wasting money!!!

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rock 2 years, 4 months ago

Jglass sounds like a coach I knew back in day. Sports programs have to be able to flourish to get good athletes and this is not the case for DoCo schools since the '90's. If you take into consideration that it cost the DCSS $150.00 to refurbish one football helmet each year and times that over the cost of the 4 varsity football progarms, plus equipment costs, uniform costs, lability insurance, and transporattion costs you can see where it adds up and this is just the FB program at the varsity level, now you hvae to consider JV, 9th grade teams and Middle schools and the cost continue. If you are to furlough a teacher for 10 tens throughout the system and then spends say 100k on the sports program that is seeral treachers salary for the furlough days. Cut where we have to cut and play when we can. Tallahassee schools have their baseball players pay 1000.00 just tomplay varsity baseball and have the program.

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tywebb 2 years, 4 months ago

rock, i coached football for years. if you are paying $150 to get one helmet refurbished, you might want to find someone else to do it. you can buy brand new ones for that price. and alot of the things that teams get/do are because of boosters. yes, football has the highest budget, but it also brings in the most $$. do you know the budget for other sports? golf, wrestling, soccer, swimming, cross country, etc. are all under $400 a year. football usually will have50-75 kids to have to take care of. And the athletes all have to have their own insurance. Look, I agree with others that cuts have to be made, but don't make stuff up to try to make your point. and i don't believe the $1000 to play baseball for a minute. show me the facts!

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Sixty 2 years, 4 months ago

@ jglass - I agree with you and I am sure JB agrees with you when you say that sports are not the reason to go to school, but you have to live in reality. Here it is. MANY of these kids have never seen anyone work for a dime. Everything has been handed to them, their parents, and grandparents by our government. These kids are not in "need" of anything. An education means nothing to them. It is just a piece of paper. If they do not have that piece of paper, no biggie to them. They are content with what the government gives them. To them, sports is the reason to go to school and pass classes. jglass, most of these kids have never been 30 miles from albany. They have no idea what an education can do for them. You can tell them all you want but as soon as it gets a little tough, they will just stay content with what they have. I do like that they are looking into who is getting paid above what they should be making. I am sure that there are a ton of people who have been moved around to lower paying positions but have never been given the paycut.

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tywebb 2 years, 4 months ago

it still amazes me ol' velvet is still part of this board. and then she says "Our test scores have not improved in the past five years. We're not educating our children to the best of our ability." MAYBE, the teachers ARE educating to the best of their abilities BUT because a good bit of students don't care about their education, they are not LEARNING to the best of their abilities! OR maybe they ARE learning to the best of their abilities but albany just has alot of stupid students! It's NOT always the teachers fault!

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Cartman 2 years, 4 months ago

When revenue is down - you cut. It's not complicated people. Cut everything. Cut it all. Cut: athletics; administration; supplements; payroll; buses; BOE expenses; air conditioning; new books; shut down the silly looking school board building located downtown; let the teachers and principals paid to do nothing as a result of the CRCT scam get furloughed; let the printing department use both sides of a sheet of paper; turn off every other light fixture; get rid of the ridiculous school board police department; trim the workforce; and bring back paddling a child's behind.

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Sixty 2 years, 4 months ago

Boy I wish it were that easy.

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CJ_Fan 2 years, 4 months ago

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the three mediocre musketeers are missing. They feel they have WON and their dreams of mediocrity have been fulfilled. So Now I’m guessing they have no need to rail against those who had desired Quality.

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Support 2 years, 4 months ago

The media outlets in this region never cease to amaze me. All school districts in Southwest Georgia are facing budget shortfalls. Personnel cost represent 85%-90% of all school district budgets.
When will the Albany Herald and WALB report on other surrounding counties? All school districts are having budget meetings. Yet it seems as if you never attend. If you attended the meetings of other districts you would know that personnel costs are a major concern EVERYWHERE.

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CJ_Fan 2 years, 4 months ago

The idiot mouth pieces in this region never cease to amaze me. They rail against the media for pointing out our house is burning down while not going to see if other houses are on fire. Isn’t wiser to cleanup your own backyard before asking someone to go look in your neighbor’s backyard. It’s obvious someone is trying to persuade the public to think a certain way by casting doubt that their own burning house may not be as bad as someone else’s if we could just set it on fire too.

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Support 2 years, 4 months ago

No one is railing against the media for pointing out "our house is burning down". The point is this paper is the voice of SOUTHWEST GEORGIA. So "sometimes" can they let us know about "houses burning in other areas. They are to report ALL news not just what "they" want the public to know.

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Support 2 years, 4 months ago

My point is this...why should I have to read in the AJC about issues going on in Southwest Georgia. The local paper should report this. Point: AJC has article about charter school vote gaining support...... State Sen. George Hooks is quoted as saying he made his decision to vote for the measure on behalf of local parents stung by accreditation concerns involving the leadership of Sumter County Schools. He also stated "My school board is my home county is totally dysfunctional." Where has this been report in the local media.

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Support 2 years, 4 months ago

When will our “fair and balanced” news outlets do a story on Lee, Worth, Terrell, Mitchell and Baker school budgets for FY 2013 since you represent “Southwest Georgia”? And since your staff took the time to setup a database to show Dougherty County salaries from the convenience of your website, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to add the salaries of surrounding counties since you are so unbiased? I know salaries are public knowledge so publish all. What you fail to realize and report is that ALL Teachers salaries are set by the State of Georgia. Since you’re so good at finding information, link the Georgia Teacher pay schedule for the community (http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/qbe_reports.public_menu?p_fy=2000). In the State of Georgia Teacher pay is based on certificate level and years of experience. It’s obvious this paper is trying to persuade the public to think a certain way.

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years, 4 months ago

Great point "Support"......keep em straight!

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