Members of the Lake Park Elementary Archery Team stand for recognition as Dougherty County School System Public Information Director R.D. Harter reads their accomplishments. The group recently earned the right to compete in a national archery tournament in which Kate Douglas, first from left, ended up fifth in the nation.
Georgia PSC certifies Murfree
ATLANTA — The Georgia Professional Standards Commission has officially upgraded the certification of Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree from a temporary Educational Leadership Certificate to a permanent certificate.
According to the PSC’s website, Murfree was issued the “PL” level 7 certification Friday.
As part of his contract, Murfree was required to obtain the certification or risk losing his contract with the system.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County School Board Members won't have to dig quite so deep into their reserves to balance the current year's budget, DCSS Finance Director Ken Dyer said Monday.
Dyer delivered a nugget of good financial news to board members and Supt. Joshua Murfree.
"We're cautiously optimistic," Dyer said. "It's still early to tell how things will shake out, but because we've tried to dig deep into our expenditures and cut things like vacant positions, and because we got $400,000 more from the state because of our FTE, things looked a little better in March."
According to Dyer, the improved financial picture means that, for now, the system can lessen the amount they'll have to pull from reserves to balance the FY2012 budget by $2 million.
With two and a half months left before the fiscal year ends on June 30, much can happen to change the picture, Dyer warned.
"We still have to be careful. We haven't felt the full brunt of that 10 percent WG&L rate increase, and fuel prices are still volatile."
Board Chairman James Bush said following Monday's meeting that it was nice to have a bit of positive financial news but that the board and administrators still must remain vigilant on the board's finances.
"We have to be real careful," Bush said. "We can't just stop and go back to the way things were. We'll end up balancing the budget one way or the other."
In other school board action, the superintendent and board recognized students from throughout the district who had received various honors ranging from national recognition in archery to standouts in foreign language programs for Spanish, Latin and German.
The board also approved renewal of a contract with ParentLink -- a system that keeps parents and legal guardians aware of student's activities in school, calendars of events for the system and notifies them in case of an emergency.
That program was renewed with seven additional upgrades that would've cost the system an additional 95 cent per student or roughly $15,000, if not for a $10,000 credit given the system by the vendor.
The board also heard from attorney Pete Donaldson who told them that notices of hearings have gone out to those teachers and administrators still involved in the ongoing CRCT test investigation.
Murfree announced plans from Thomas University in Thomasville to offer summer courses for $365 to students with grade point averages of 2.5 or better -- a program known as the Jump Start program.
The superintendent also announced a revamped program to encourage kids to begin the next school year the first day of class. The program would involve local elected officials at the city, county and school board level, school partners and corporate sponsors to be at various schools around the county on the first day welcoming students to class.