ALBANY, Ga. — Supporters of arts programs in the Dougherty County School System voiced their concern over possible budget cuts to music and arts programs in Superindentent Joshua Murfree’s proposed FY 2013 budget.
Early last month, Murfree presented to the DCSS Finance Committee a proposed budget draft with cuts to make up a $9.6 million shortfall in the upcoming school year. The proposal included $370,000 in cuts to “non-mandated programs, elementary foreign languages, art, music and PE.”
That proposal attracted a group of concerned citizens who lined up to speak at the DCSS Board of Education meeting on Wednesday.
Juby Phillips, who helped organize the citizens group, was first to the podium.
“We understand that we are in tough economic times, but we are here to urge the board not to eliminate funding for the arts in the Dougherty County School System,” said Phillips.
Murfree assured Phillips that the system had no intention of cutting funding for the arts and that his proposed cuts had been misinterpreted by the media.
In other business, the board tabled reconsideration of the nonrenewal of Child Nutrition Services Director Vanessa Hayes, whose contract was not renewed on May 14. Her current contract expires on July 1.
The board also unanimously approved a change order for fuel dispenser purchases at the Transportation Department and approved the purchases of a new video conferencing system and an ICEE machine.
The board also announced that it will likely vote on the FY 2013 budget at its next meeting, scheduled for June 11 at 7 p.m. in the school administration board room.