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DCSS pays $700,000 to consultants

David Maschke

David Maschke

ALBANY, Ga. — Financial documents obtained by Dougherty County School Board member David Maschke show the school system has paid out nearly $700,000 to 76 different consultants over FY 2012.

Global Teachers Research and Resources topped the list at $120,765, while Darrell Sabbs and Associates was next at $91,000.

“Most of this list is absolutely fine, but not all of the names are,” said Maschke. “What is obvious is that we have a lack of institutional control and a lack of checks and balances, and I believe it is an ongoing issue within the system.”

Maschke pointed to the Sabbs contract as an example, saying he did not recall the board voting on entering into a contract in which Sabbs and Associates would receive $13,000 a month for providing twice-monthly reading services for at-risk fourth-graders through his “Saturday Academy.”

Fellow board member Darrel Ealum also said he could not recall the agreement coming before the board.

The contract was authorized by DCSS Director of Title I Programs Betty Graper.

“My talent is in youth development, and I’ve been doing it successfully for more than 30 years,” Sabbs, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s Community Benefits Coordinator, said. “The Saturday Academy program employs 20 teachers and serves over 50 fourth-graders in Title I schools in Dougherty County. The program enhances reading skills and comprehension for our children.

“I also work with students in Terrell County, and their graduation rate went from 40 to 70 percent due to my student support. And you need to remember that all of this money stays here locally, it doesn’t go to some company in Macon.”

Maschke asserts that board approval was bypassed in violation of policy that reads: “The Dougherty County Board of Education shall approve all contracts of any kind and shall authorize their execution by the Chairman, or in his absence the Vice-Chairman and the Superintendent. Provided, however, the Superintendent is authorized to enter into contracts with an aggregate amount of no more than $40,000 without prior Board approval if payment of such contracts has been provided for in the annual budget adopted by the Dougherty County Board of Education.”

Maschke said he was not surprised at what the 12-page document furnished by the DCSS Finance Department contained.

“My first look at the consultants list confirmed to me the suspicions I had of improprieties and a failure to adhere to established policies,” said Maschke.

However, Maschke did not take issue with much of the list, pointing to $20,405 paid to Gail Durham for services provided to visually-impaired students as a worthy expenditure.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

Sabbs must be driving one of those 5-Class Mercedes or 7-Series BMW's I've been seeing around town in ever increasing numbers. I could live pretty high on 13k a month instead of the 1.3k I've been living on and I've got some skills too.

Did any Caucasian Consultants get any money? Or anybody NOT related to the DCSS hierarchy?

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maggiemoo2 2 years, 3 months ago

Ruby, Why are you so concerned about what the man is driving?? Go get yourself whatever you want or can afford. We are talking about the misuse of school funds. The silly comments you are making are so worthless to those of us who are trying to discuss the issue at hand. Go blog somewhere else with that!!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

maggiemoo2..you signed up for a Herald ID just to criticize my comment? Wow, that's pretty flattering! Since this is your first and only comment, in what sense are you "trying to discuss the issue at hand" that you have so far made no comment about?

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deejay 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually he drives a Jaguar...

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

Exactly! It takes a Real Genius to drive an $80,000 Jaguar in Albany where there is not a living soul who can work on it or maintain it. I wouldn't want it after he gets through with it. And don't forget to put Premium Gas in that thing!

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ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 3 months ago

I understand that it's "Darrell Sabbs AND Associates" but if Sabbs is the Community Benefits Coordinator at PPMH (a full time job, I suppose) how does he draw $91,000 from the BOE, also? Wow, not only sounds like a secret to Mashke and Ealum, but, a sweetheart deal on top of that!

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southwestga 2 years, 3 months ago

Wow. That's $130 per student per Saturday. It's probably just a half day? Funny he didn't mention the amount of the DoCo students' improvement due to his program. He's supposed to be a very close personal friend of Murfree. Re Terrell, does anyone think that a part-time Saturday Academy for fourth graders could almost double the high school graduation rate? From personal experience, he's not such a great community liason for Phoebe either.

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FryarTuk 2 years, 3 months ago

Just more of the same. Students are being robbed and taxpayers are getting soaked through the loss of the financial resources. It's all a part of the incestuous nest of corruption at DCSS.

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waltspecht 2 years, 3 months ago

Accountability and guaranteed results per contract is the way to control Consultants. There must be penalties in place for failing to meet established, in writing, goals. If the Consultant can't guarantee proven results, they aren't worth the money invested.

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wisewoman 2 years, 3 months ago

Global teachers research and resources is a company that takes teachers from other countries (mainly India) and finds them jobs in the United States. The DCSS has used them to bring over high school math and science teachers. While a few have been okay teachers, the majority only last a year or two. The students can not understand them when they speak and the teachers can not handle classroom behavior. A retired DCSS supervisor hinted to me that some of the DCSS bigwigs received free trips to India for recruiting purposes.

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jglass 2 years, 3 months ago

So, I wonder once Maschke is gone, who is going to try to look out for our money? Sounds to me like they spend as they please. If this particular item was not voted on, someone needs to lose their job over it. Again, why did they approve an ICEE machine? They approved another item....a video machine of some type......why?

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

Robert Youngblood will be the one. Wait and see...

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

They replaced video conferencing equipment and the ICEE machine is replacing two at Hugh Mills Stadium. I should have made that clearer in the story.

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AlbanyObserver 2 years, 3 months ago

The larger question is why are consultants employed? What are the guidelines for the use of consultants? What is the budgeting process? It appears that there are some procedures in place, as per the statement from Mr. Maschke that it appeared that established procedures were not used. In this instance, who approved the payments? What disciplinary action will be taken to deal with the person or persons who did not follow procedures?

While I can understand the use of consultants to perform tasks that are out of the norm (services for visually impaired students, for example), it is beyond belief that nearly $100,000 of tax payer money is used for consultants to teach 4th graders to read. Reading is the most foundational education skill. That's why we employ teachers. Does anyone else see the absolute idiocy of the fact that we are paying consultants to do the work for which we have already paid teachers?

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

Many of the consultants are retired teachers who are working for a per hour rate with no benefits - even more cheaply than 49 percenters. The DCSS actually saves money by using many of these people.

Others? Well, that bears further investigation.

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Progressive 2 years, 3 months ago

What seems to be missing from many of these discoveries of fraud and corruption is the follow-up statement of leadership accountability. Now that they know it happened, what actions are they going to take against those who failed to follow the already documented policies?

Why have documented policies if there is no accountability for those who fail to adhere to them?

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jglass 2 years, 3 months ago

Progressive, nothing will be done as usual!

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Cartman 2 years, 3 months ago

So the plan is to pay Murfree's friends a consulting fee to teach 4th graders to read, and to furlough our 4th grade teachers to pay for it?

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TwiceRetiredEducator 2 years, 3 months ago

?1. Does Mr. Sabbs hold any type of educational degree---maybe in reading? ?2. Do the people he employs to "teach" at the Saturday Academy hold educational degrees? ?3. Why didn't the DCSS develop its own "Saturday Academy" and hire some of the teachers who were furloughed to teach there? ?4. Is the DCSS Board going to do anything about the blatant disregard for rules and Board policy? If not, the Board is no better than the Administration?

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straightface 2 years, 3 months ago

they did hire some of the furlough teachers to work the saturday academy. it was held at certain elementary schools and they bussed the children as well.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

Sabbs' Saturday Academy was held at Darton College.

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AuntBee 2 years, 3 months ago

Sabbs & Associates received $13,000 A MONTH, for 2 times a mon. having reading services for at-risk 4th graders through a “Saturday Academy.” $6500 a Sat? Oh my !....How many students? How many hours? Hope you do a follow up article on that.

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bubbavet 2 years, 3 months ago

A waste continues to be a terrible thing to mind. SOS. Same old s _ _ _.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 3 months ago

Publish Coleman fees and services, and see what I'm talking about.

Tax Payer 101

Smoke screen - wow!

Tell it like it is Real Deal.

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

There is also a second list of people who provide "professional services" to the system. Coleman is on this list as are many others. We have asked for this list and will give you what you want.

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AuntBee 2 years, 3 months ago

Whoops,I guess I could use some of those reading comprehension classes myself...I just reread your article and see that the $6500 a Sat is going for 50 students. The 'Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s Community Benefits Coordinator" honestly through me off..I thought we were on to a different case.

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Albanite 2 years, 3 months ago

This is utterly OUTRAGEOUS! Anyone involved in this corrupt Sabbs deal has no business whatsoever having anything to do with the DCSS, its budget or our children.

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Albanite 2 years, 3 months ago

I'd like to know if anyone on the board has any formal training in auditing or high-level organizational management? They aren't applying any of the basic sound management control principles.

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MRKIA 2 years, 3 months ago

CARTMAN YOUR COMMENT SHOULD OPEN THE FLOODGATE OF TEACHERS DEMANDING AN ANSWER. EXCELLENT POST. TEACHERS? YOU GUYS READ THESE COMMENTS, WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THIS?

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Outtahere 2 years, 3 months ago

My question is why does the board continue to operate so poorly? They know we're watching them closely but they keep doing stupid stuff. I guess they're hoping we don't look close enough. Like Sister Ruby says, "Follow the money".

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bigbob 2 years, 3 months ago

Can you say 4 to 3 vote. This is the stupid protecting the stupid.

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straightface 2 years, 3 months ago

They did hire some of the furlough teachers to work the saturday academy.

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justme 2 years, 3 months ago

Who and how many attend on a regular basis, and how have they improved?

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chinaberry25 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm in a state of shock. They also furnish subs for the school at ASU. Why?? This should fall under ASU budget, not DCSS. The students are approved by ASU and the students there learn how to teach them. Why is this DCSS? UFL has one and it is under U of FL and only them.

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TheBoss 2 years, 3 months ago

Until the tight circle of ASU and DCSS is broken the money will continue be flushed down the toilet. Stubbs thinks just because the money says localy its Ok, Its called the "June Bug" mentality.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 3 months ago

Ok, I didn't know Whatley, Coleman and Loyd attended ASU. These people, ladies and gentleman controlled the money.

Tell it like the real deal say it is!

The Real Deal - Bubbavet_rureel

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chinaberry25 2 years, 3 months ago

Randolph County paid Coleman over $300,000 last year, I cannot fathom how much DCSS pays him. The school system also allows ESP students parents to bully them into getting special treatments. Bringing in outside consultants to observe them. Why should any student be given special treatment.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

Getta Load of this self-description from LinkedIn: Darrrel Sabbs: Educator, Socialite, Mentor & CFO of Barnum Funeral Home at Sabbs & Associates

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/darrell-sabbs/46/468/664

You can't make this bullcrap up!

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whodat 2 years, 3 months ago

that's Jr., not Sr. Sr. is the one being discussed on this thread.

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Happy 2 years, 3 months ago

The CRCT scandal as well as the Sabbs program started under Sally Whatley. Murfree is the one who found out about the Sabbs contract as he was going through every budget item individually to get rid of waste. Murfree is having to clean up after Whatley. Most of the news outlets in this area do not want you to know the whole truth because they want to indoctrinate you. Don't rely on the news to give you the entire story because they will not. Remember they are in the business to increase sales. They increase sales by fueling public outrage. Btw Sabbs works for Phoebe in their PR department. Don't you find it interesting that Phoebe (who supports Lane Price), would allow one of their PR employees to "moonlight" in this type of venture? Isn't it also interesting the Mashke did not sound the horn on this issue when Whatley was superintendent? Sounds like folks are playing good old fashioned politics with the people of Albany.

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