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Murfree unveils three-year budget plan

Two mistakenly sent CRCT nonrenewal letters

ALBANY, Ga. — Two elementary school paraprofessionals who were named in the governor’s CRCT cheating report were among 26 other teachers and administrators who were informed by Dougherty School System attorney Tommy Coleman that their contracts would not be renewed for the 2012-13 school year.

Coleman said Tuesday that, as paras, the two, Valerie West and Debra Warren, should have never been on the list since they don’t have contracts with the system.

Since they lack contracts, the two are considered “at will” employees and can be fired by the school board with no recourse of appeal.

West, a para at Jackson Heights, is among those in the report accused of “assisted in cheating,” while Warren is accused of “participated in cheating.”

— Terry Lewis

ALBANY, Ga. — With the Dougherty County School System facing an anticipated $9.6 million shortfall and a June 30 deadline to balance its FY 2012-13 budget, Superintendent Joshua Murfree unveiled his three-year budget reduction plan on Wednesday.

At a meeting of the DCSS Finance Committee, Murfree stressed that "everything is on the table" and that the plan was just a series of proposals.

His proposal, if fully implemented by the Dougherty School Board, would balance the budget and reduce teacher furloughs from 10 to six days.

The budget proposal was presented by the DCSS Finance Department's Ken Dyer, who was sitting in for former Finance Director Robert Lloyd, who was demoted on Monday.

The superintendent's plan would eliminate 15 paraprofessional and four graduation coaches for a savings of $639,700; maximize class sizes to eliminate 26 positions for a $1.7 million savings; phase out a counselor position to save $89,000, and reduce some CTAE (Career, Technical & Agricultural Education) programs to save another $380,000.

Other programs in the budgetary crosshairs are $170,000 in savings by reducing media specialists to one per high school; $370,000 by eliminating elementary school foreign language, art, music and physical education; and $414,000 by revising the way full-time returning retired teachers are paid.

Murfree also proposed selling Sylvandale Elementary and next year closing Isabella and another active elementary school.

"This is where we are, and this is what we need to do to go forward," Murfree said. "We're going to have to make some tough decisions. We can cut all the programs we want and not cut personnel, and we'll still have a deficit."

Ninety percent of the current DCSS budget, or roughly $9 million per month, is spent on personnel.

"I think we made great progress today," board member Darrel Ealum, who was sitting in on the meeting, said. "This is the first time since I've been on the board that we've actually had line items to discuss prior to voting on a budget. We're light years ahead of where were last year.

"Ken Dyer did a fine job."

Murfree's proposal also suggested eliminating 101 vacant teaching positions, eliminating one assistant coach per school and reducing athletic supplements by 5 percent.

The proposal, however, doesn't address legal fees that will arise from the upcoming CRCT tribunals, although board attorney Tommy Coleman said recently resolution of the cases was going to "cost a lot."

Committee member James Bush, who is also the board's chairman, asked the committee to consider bringing in an in-house attorney to handle the system's legal matters at a reduced cost.

Dyer, however, pointed out that the attorney would likely need an assistant, adding that those salaries and benefits could negate any real savings.

The committee also said that outsourcing of child nutrition services, police and transportation would still be looked at. Committee member Carol Tharin reminded Dyer that the board had already approved an RFP (Request for Proposal) for outsourcing facilities maintenance and was waiting for Finance to issue it.

Comments

Layla 2 years, 2 months ago

"$370,000 from eliminating elementary school foreign language, art, music and physical education;" WHAT???? Do NOT take this away from our kids! ~That would make me one MAD Momma!

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whattheheck 2 years, 2 months ago

And let's not forget to not hire so many "consultants" next year.

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jglass 2 years, 2 months ago

I don't agree with eliminating the classes from the elementary schools. And who else gets credit for this plan? It appears that #34 came up with this all by himself or does he get total credit since he is the super.?

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Cartman 2 years, 2 months ago

Graduation coaches? Are you kidding me? We've been paying people to coach graduation? Who do you have to be related to, in order to procure one of those jobs.

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brendajohnson 2 years, 2 months ago

FYI they make between $50,000-70,000 per year. It was previously a grant position; however, go ole DCSS picked up the salaries when the grant ran out. Mostly they do NOTHING.

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Cartman 2 years, 2 months ago

OK. I researched it and feel a little better now. The job title is misleading. I was ignorant and thought these people coached the graduation "ceremony". I did not realize they are college graduate mentors to help problem students obtain graduation requirements. I'll be the first to admit when I'm wrong. The DCSS is still a train-wreck but I won't beat them up for something they didn't do. Carry on.

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agirl_25 2 years, 2 months ago

Does anyone know what a graduation coach does?

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PatrickY2K 2 years, 2 months ago

Nothing. This position is a huge waste of money.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 2 months ago

I feel P.E. and art should not be cut. Especially P.E. So many kids need that exercise since a lot of them go home and never come out of the house because they are too busy playing video games. It also teaches good sportsmanship and how to get along with others. Art also teaches kids to have culture and it is something severely lacking in this community as a whole. Perhaps what is really needed is to cut the super out and quit spending school funds to bail kids out of jail and to replace "stolen" horns.

http://www.change.org/petitions/superintendent-of-dougherty-county-ga-terminatation-resignation

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Citizen_A 2 years, 2 months ago

P.E. is also important for kids with ADHD. And music is proven to help kids learn better.

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Momof3 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm going to make my popcorn before I start reading the comments.

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Citizen_A 2 years, 2 months ago

Can I come sit with you and watch the entertainment? It's going to be a real comedy...or action adventure.

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firefly 2 years, 2 months ago

How much would we save if we paid #34 what he is worth?

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MRKIA 2 years, 2 months ago

HE WOULD OWE THE DCSS MONEY.

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Outtahere 2 years, 2 months ago

That's a good one! Thanks for the chuckle!

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DoctorDorite 2 years, 2 months ago

No cuts at the downtown central office ??

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

A 50% reduction would be a very good start!

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 2 months ago

Lloyd and Daniels gone... that's two whopper cuts right there!

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DoctorDorite 2 years, 2 months ago

Not really cut, just side-shifted with new titles, besides who did they replace ? No one !

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daddiemoon 2 years, 2 months ago

Can the school board please investigate how the "Assistant Super Gooser' was allowed to write and sign checks during the Basketball tournament and give them to his close and personal friends, that he spoke of in the call board meeting on monday night?.

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daddiemoon 2 years, 2 months ago

Why was Mr. Lloyd demoted ?????? Was it because he knew that Assistant Gooser took the money from the elementary schools extended basketball program, and opened another account with only his name on it???

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

You guys wanted blood, and now you got it......what else do you want? Tell us Terry.....

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Cartman 2 years, 2 months ago

It's a feeble step in the right direction. We want more blood.

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agonized 2 years, 2 months ago

Different blood is needed, too. There needs to be fat trimmed downtown at the nice brick building with the cute little schoolhouse in front. They don't need to cut art, music and especially P.E. for elementary school kids, nor do they need to cut CTAE programs for high school kids.

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PatrickY2K 2 years, 2 months ago

What should be happening, Coach? Is the DCSS healthy? Does it have good leadership? You act as though the questions are not justified, and that no change is needed.

Are you satisified with the DCSS? Please explain.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

No, the leadership seems to have its problems, however its just so funny to watch all the bloodsuckers come out all of a sudden. When Whatley was Superintendent, nobody questioned her like this when certain "funds" came up missing. Where was Terry then? But to answer your question, ....no, I am not satisfied with the DCSS, but I also think a lot of its problems are over-exploited to make them seem worse than what they really are. Some of it is politically motivated in an effort to regain control of the BOE and the top positions in DCSS. ----thats all....and that enough.....

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walrus 2 years, 2 months ago

Cut CTAE programs? You mean the classes students take to get a JOB? When most jobs don't need a college degree, you cut the programs that are valuable and provide students even less opportunities ? Penny wise Pound foolish!!!!

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MRKIA 2 years, 2 months ago

WE WANT EVERY DROP OF BAD BLOOD.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

Why not hire a lawyer on the DCSS payroll. What they pay Tommy Coleman they could hire more than 1 lawyer. Even a seasoned one.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Justice4Moma 2 years, 2 months ago

Gov.Deal helped the Sumter County School,why not ask him why he does not help Albany Schools? And when you do,you will see plenty of the GOBS still going on.All the laws he has been putting into place has nothing to do with helping the voters,just the system.And i am basing that on what is in the news.He could always prove me wrong.And yes i have wrote him,everyone else needs to.

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

If half of what has been alluded to as far as corruption is concerned is true, Terry you have your work cut out for you, but so should the DA. Between yesterdays accusations about faked time cards and funds shifts, isn't that what some Administrators went to jail for in North Georgia?

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 2 months ago

FYI Georgia is the most corrupt of the 50 states. Getting a corrupt government to look into a corrupt government is kinda like the fox watching the hen house, isn't it?

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waltspecht 2 years, 2 months ago

Ah, but that is where the Third Estate comes in.

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VietVet1 2 years, 2 months ago

Does this mean there won't be any bonus's?

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 2 months ago

Let's see how bad King Murfree and his court jesters can screw this up....stay tuned

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Referencing the sidebar "Two mistakenly sent CRCT nonrenewal letters".......I just cannot conceive of that much incompetence. But sometimes I get it wrong and sometimes they out-do themselves.

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ExPatriot 2 years, 2 months ago

If the county has indeed lost enough students to justify a reduction in the number of facilities, teachers, classes, media specialists, coaches, etc. why is there NO mention of a reduction in ADMINISTRATION? 1 administrator’s salary is the equivalent of 2 young teachers. As a parent, I’d rather see an administrator sacrificed than have art and music eliminated. And the demotions that were handed out this week are actually fiscally irresponsible. Daniels and Lloyd will be required to do LESS work at the SAME pay.

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MRKIA 2 years, 2 months ago

I'LL GO OUT ON A LIMB AND PREDICT THAT MURFREE AS SUPER WILL BE A 1 CONTRACT DEAL. THATS IF HE ISN'T SHOWN THE DOOR BEFORE HIS CURRENT CONTRACT IS UP. HOW CAN ANYONE ON THE SCHOOL BOARD IN GOOD CONSCIOUS RENEW HIS CONTRACT?

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Cartman 2 years, 2 months ago

I disagree. I'll go on a limb and bet that when his contract is up - he seeks a pay raise. Of course, I hope you are right. But I doubt it.

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bubbavet 2 years, 2 months ago

Am I the only one who saw the humor in this? I can't believe Murfree can think what he can do one minute from now much less three years.

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AnotherMom 2 years, 2 months ago

I agree with "ExPatriot". There needs to be some pay reductions & terminations from the top down, not the bottom up. Daniels & Lloyd should also receive a pay reduction along with their demotions. I want to see "#34" voluntarily take a pay reduction, also.

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tywebb 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe we need to bring in Sean Peyton, the New Orleans Coach, as a consultant on bounties??? btw.....this is a joke! meant to be funny and not a serious solution!

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jglass 2 years, 2 months ago

I guess Goseer needs to be completely investigated. This "soap opera" gets worse and worse every day!!!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

Do you think Whatley approved of any kind of payouts with "taxpayers money" that was not "100% legal?" Is it in the Board minutes??? Can it be proven? Was Gosseer right??? Tell us Terry.....

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Cartman 2 years, 2 months ago

chirp....chirp..... I think they're gone, dude.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

When the coach speaks......they run and hide, or tell a lie......But I know how to bait them....

stay tuned..........

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Yeah corchjackin42......tell us what you KNOW.....cricket chirp bird sing frog croak tree fall in forest....................right, that's what I thought.......

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Jacob 2 years, 2 months ago

We are all ears corch. Tell what you know or shut up. As usual, you are full of B.S. We aren't hiding, we are just used to your lies and denials. Tell us corch, are you still proud of your peeps? LOL.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

No, the leadership seems to have its problems, however its just so funny to watch all the bloodsuckers come out all of a sudden. When Whatley was Superintendent, nobody questioned her like this when certain "funds" came up missing. Where was Terry then? But to answer your question, ....no, I am not satisfied with the DCSS, but I also think a lot of its problems are over-exploited to make them seem worse than what they really are. Some of it is politically motivated in an effort to regain control of the BOE and the top positions in DCSS. ----thats all....and thats enough.....

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

So are you saying Whatley took the money or that she refused to expose someone that she knew took it? It wouldn't surprise me that somebody took it when you look at the cast of crooks that have been employed there for years.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 2 months ago

I thought the funds came missing under Culbreth and that was the reason for his leaving.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

I can tell you this.....She was NOT AS INNOCENT as you guys may think she was.....But since Murfree was unwanted by many of you in the first place, efforts to discredit him have been blown out of control. Yes, he has his short-comings and makes some questionable decisions, but so did Whatley. For example, Whatley was "ultimately responsible" for the CRCT cheating scandal, but did you see an article by Terry placing any blame on her? (No....., I didnt see one either) Murfree had nothing to with that scandal and yet he is attached to that scandal by the media. Thats called "selective blame" and its unfair. Bob Marley once said, "I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy"...........Murfree did not shoot the deputy!

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 2 months ago

This is so typical of the mentality of the Dumbacrates……No matter how unfit for the job “their” man is they cannot stand for anyone to point out the short comings of their heroes, so they immediately start with the “Blame Bush BS” just happens to be Whatley this time. But Bush and Whatley are not in charge now so Face the FACTS your visions of Greatness for your Heroes is Clouded by your Blindness to the truth of the quality of the job they are doing and you really could careless because they are wasting TAX money which you Dumbacrates see as FREE money. The really sad part is the Dumbacrates can’t figure out that their Hero worship is doing more to keep them chained to the Government Plantation with all its entitlements and strings attached and prevents them from getting the best education which would mean better opportunities they could earn on their own without depending on their other Heroes who promise more “Free” entitlements and more class warfare. Coach I know you or a fellow Dumbacrate is going to try to rebut the fact your Heroes are who is keeping you down but at some point I pray you’ll wake up and realize your Heroes are the Puppet Masters (Not the Man) and they pull your strings and make you dance just like they want you to any time they want you to. I know you will once again call me racists but I am standing on the outside looking in and see what you cannot see because of your color blindness. Your statement “since Murfree was unwanted by many of you in the first place, efforts to discredit him have been blown out of control” is implying that those of us who do not care for him is only because of race and we just say we want better quality as a way to cover up the race issues. Sadley you forget most of the other 33 were not white and were much MORE qualified for the job.

Strive to excel and you move forward

Strive for mediocre and you get more mediocre.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

First of all...Murfree is not my hero, and I worship NO MAN!! ...lets get that straight!! Being a Democrat has nothing to do with this issue at all. Its just a fact. Whatley was the Superintendent in charge when the cheating scandal was going on. That's called a "fact" TAXPAYER!!! Deal with it....Secondly, nobody mentioned race but you!!! I didn't....see, that whats on your mind!! We all want better for our children, not just you...... But the difference is, I dont have to bash Murfree to get better results for our children. Education comes in many colors.....not just BLACK AND WHITE......so, go back to school Taxpayer and welcome back......

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 2 months ago

Being Democrat has nothing to do with the issues. You have forgotten I have told you before I too am a registered Democrat (from 40 years ago). The Republican Party has the Tea party group and the Democrats have the DUMBocrates. It is the DUMBocrates who blindly follow their Heroes and drink the cool aid that are the problem in Albany and America. Truly education does not know colors but stupidity does as demonstrated here almost daily by both sides. I do not bash #34 I state Facts he is NOT qualified and is damaging the futures of our children his race has NOTHING to do with his Qualifications. But for You and your fellow DUMBocrates to repeatedly say YOU are happy with #34 and the gang of four and their quality of work is proof you care more for a man’s color than his Qualification. You are your own children’s worst enemy and are doing more damage than was ever done by any other group to you in the past. I have repeatedly called for HIGHER quality of people with honor and integrity to lead our children while you and your followers blast me for speaking up and condemning the poor Quality of leadership and the few VERY few poor quality teachers they support. IF you really wanted better for your children and America you too would be standing up against mediocre and strive for BETTER. Your children are reaping what you are sowing so STOP Blaming others, it is YOUR own fault. BTW I have never left I just got tired of trying to show the light to DUMBocrates and quit wasting my time to write I just read the BS and laugh at the stupidity. As one of your followers repeatedly ask “Can’t we be friends” but the stupidity has got to stop and you step up to seriously desiring a better future and stop supporting “Mediocre” just because it is someone who makes you feel comfortable. Get out of your comfort level and STRIVE to do better and provide our children with the tools to Excel and not just be MORE Mediocre. While you are busy pointing your finger at everyone else remember you have three of your own fingers pointing back at YOU.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

You are such an idiot. Who says I support in your words "mediocre" leadership? You dont know ish..... Do you make this crap up as you go or are you just that stupid? I never said I was happy with Murfree or he was my hero....Are you on drugs? . I want our children to have the best possible future just like (I assume) you do. I just question your motives along with others on here who are so "concerned" all of a sudden. These people have never been so "concerned" with these kids education in the past. They are only interested taking back control of the BOE and the top positions in the DCSS. They could care less about the children. I just call out the "bloodsuckers." When the "bloodsuckers" see a wounded animal, they pounce on it and try to suck all the blood out to try to kill it. You never saw such negative press concerning this school system when Whatley was in charge, and some of the same things Murfree is doing, she did also. I just point stuff like that out and then you get mad and go crazy. Murfree is following a blueprint that was already laid out by the previous Superintendent. Some of the same people on his cabinet today, worked closely with Whatley as well.So, while you are pointing fingers....make sure you point at the right people.....

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

I think all that was asked for was a specific accusation of wrongdoing. Either Comission or Omission. Name it. The accusations against Murfree, Riggins, Baker, etc etc are SPECIFIC. If you have specifics against Dr. Whatley........put them in writing.

It goes like this: "On such and such a day in such and such a year, Dr. Whatley did this specific illegal thing (or defrauded the DCSS by __) or stole $ XXXX or wrote a check out of DCSS school funds to her friend (name of friend), or put a case of baskeballs in her trunk and took them home to her nieces and nephews, or what the funk ever.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 2 months ago

Coach to use your own words

”you are so dumb, its entertaining”.

Always Trying to divert TODAY’s Problems at hand by blaming Bush, Whatley, or better yet YOU all by yourself have decided anyone who is non-Black is a blood sucker and are in a conspiracy to take back control of DCSS and find anyone who is better qualified that #34 and NOT because they Care about the future. Try opening your closed mind and maybe just maybe you would realize your “conspirators” are just sick and tired of sitting back and watching DCSS being run into the ground while being defended by Dumbacrates. DCSS is a Grease Fire out of control so keep defending it and blaming the “conspirators”.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

Did Terry teach you that crap? The part about a grease fire and such? You still keep bringing up race....you sir are a "race-conscious fool" who cant stick to the topic without bringing up color. What is your problem? My mind is wide open and I can see what the purpose behind all this "DCSS Bashing" and what it is all about. The problem with DCSS is not black or white sir.....its right and wrong. Yes, mistakes were made...but mistakes were made for many years in the DCSS. Why do you care now? Are you tired of living in Lee County and you are ready to come back? Are you tired of making all your money in Albany and then spend it back on gas driving 20-25 minutes back to Leesburg everyday? Do you wish Albany High was like it was in 1960's again? What is your issue? The DCSS is in the process of fixing its own problems. They have made good progress in the last month so give it a rest. They will rebound and rise again.....

The Coach has spoken......

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Still no specific answer to your accusation of Dr. Whatley:

I think all that was asked for was a specific accusation of wrongdoing. Either Comission or Omission. Name it. The accusations against Murfree, Riggins, Baker, etc etc are SPECIFIC. If you have specifics against Dr. Whatley........put them in writing.

It goes like this: "On such and such a day in such and such a year, Dr. Whatley did this specific illegal thing (or defrauded the DCSS by __) or stole $ XXXX or wrote a check out of DCSS school funds to her friend (name of friend), or put a case of baskeballs in her trunk and took them home to her nieces and nephews, or what the funk ever.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 2 months ago

Since you are ALL Knowing and so Smart PLEASE explain to the rest of the world what you are saying when you make the Claim.

"I can see what the purpose behind all this "DCSS Bashing" and what it is all about."

STOP your BSing and talk the TRUTH as you Know it. Show the World you are not the FOOL we all think you are.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 2 months ago

O and now you with your GREAT Wisdom can decide a man's Worth......Does your BS ever END?

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 2 months ago

The Heat is on Coach to put up or SHUT Up....So RUN Coach RUN

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Apparently coach has only emtpy, baseless accusations and no facts against Dr. Whatley.

I think Obama has a place for you, coach, on His re-election team up there in Washington D.C. You'd fit in perfectly!

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

Ask Terry these questions....

1) Who was the Superintendent in charge when almost a million dollars came up missing from the lunch program a few years ago? Where did the money go? How do you lose a million dollars? Then ask, why was this story "under-covered" and no conclusion to that story has ever been made "perfectly" clear.

2) Who was the Superintendent in charge who put "pressure" on Principals to make AYP which later resulted in widespread cheating on the CRCT? Then ask, Do you think she knew Principals and teachers were involved in this mis-conduct? If she didn't know, why not? Why was she not criticized like Dr. Murfree who had nothing to do with it?

3) Who laid the blue-print for the Dr. Murfree and the way he handles school business today? Did Dr. Murfree take advice from Dr. Whatley when he began as Superintendent?
The public has already asked these questions and never got a decent response..... Things that make you go......hmmmmmmmmm

Now, sit down somewhere....

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 2 months ago

So once again your answer is #34 is NOT Quailified to handle the job so you must try to dig up the past to try and make your man who is in charge TODAY not look so incompetent TODAY. AGAIN no FACTS you can PROVE just more Smoke and Mirrors to try and deflect the TRUTH DCSS is a WILDFIRE burning itself up fueled by the Gang of 4 and #34

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 2 months ago

Your response is pitiful .... (typical Fox-News education teaches the "uninformed" to avoid the hard-questions) .....C'Mon TAXMAN!!! Answer the questions "Skippy!!!" Start with number one....and move on to number two....c'mon....you can do it "Skippy".... .....you wanted this, so here ya go.....answer them!!

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 2 months ago

Once again to quote YOU...."You are not worthy....." of any more of my time. Once you grow a pair and are willing to have a serious discussion not based on the “Liberal Argument Playbook” which you use so well. I may decide to discuss something with you once again. You are so hung up on the PAST and so busy looking backwards you cannot see the wall in front of you. You can Kiss the last part of me you see as I walk away from you to once again sit (on that same part you just kissed) on the sidelines as I watch you and your follows go down in flames. Happy smoking!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Let's CUT THE CRAP!!!

I'm calling for a 33% cost/headcount reduction at the so-called Central Office. This can occur in several ways but possible options include a 33% headcount reduction, a 33% pay reduction across the board, or some combination of the two which results in a NET COST reduction of 33% at the Central Office of the DCSS. Anybody with me??

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