ALBANY, Ga. — The Dougherty County School System announced Wednesday that a special meeting of the Board of Education has been called for 5 p.m. Monday for consideration of teacher contract renewals for the 2012-13 school year.
Missing from the agenda package sent out Wednesday were the names of personnel who Superintendent Joshua Murfree was recommending to not be renewed for the coming school year.
“I was told the list isn’t normally made public until after a vote is taken,” DCSS Director of information R.D. Harter said.
The Herald has learned, however, that the school system attorney has recommended to Murfree to not renew the contracts of 26 of the 44 teachers and/or administrators who were named in the state’s investigation of the administering of Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCTs) in 2009, along with one principal who was not named in the CRCT report.
Recommendations regarding hirings, renewals and non-renewals are usually included in the agenda package. Board members received notebooks for Monday’s meeting, but the non-renewal recommendations were missing from their packets.
School Board member Carol Tharin confirmed she had received her agenda notebook — minus the list of names recommended by the school chief for non-renewal.
“I got my meeting notebook, but there were no names in it,” Tharin said. “This is very unusual. How are we supposed to vote on Monday if we don’t know who we are voting for?”
According to the information obtained by The Herald, there was no recommendations to the superintendent on renewal or non-renewal for six school personnel named in the CRCT report, and no action was to be required on seven system personnel named in the CRCT report who have either retired or resigned from the system.
The system has a May 15 deadline to issue letters of non-renewal to some or all of those employees. Teaching personnel who don’t receive non-renewal letters will see their contracts automatically renewed for the 2012-13 school year, with system officials likely forfeiting any right to impose discipline on any found guilty of cheating on the standardized tests.
Non-renewals would automatically trigger hearings before administrative tribunals.
Meanwhile, Harter informed The Herald that the system’s open records policy has been changed. Future open records requests from the media are to be sent directly to the superintendent’s office, he said.
The newspaper will continue to send copies of open records requests submitted to Murfree to Harter and school system Attorney Tommy Coleman.