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Georgia DOE places DCSS on high-risk status

State officials cite unsatisfactory performance, lax management standards and lack of timely responses for information.

ALBANY, Ga. — The Georgia Department of Education, expressing concerns with the Dougherty County School System's implementation of Federal Title I, Part A programs, on Tuesday placed the district on "High Risk" status.

In a letter to DCSS Superintendent Joshua Murfree, state Department of education Deputy Superintendent Avis King wrote that it was "the decision of the GaDOE to place the District on High Risk status. This decision is based on the District's unsatisfactory performance, management standards that do not meet 34 CFR requirements, not being sufficiently organized to implement Federal Program grant review requirements and the lack of timely District responses to recent GaDOE Federal programs review concerns."

Federal regulation 34 CFR section 80.12 states that a subgrantee may be considered High Risk if an awarding agency determines that a subgrantee:

• Has a history of unsatisfactory performance;

• Is not financially stable;

• Has a management system that does not meet the management standards in this part;

• Has not conformed to terms and conditions of previous awards;

• And/or is otherwise not responsible; and if the awarding agency determines that an award will be made, special conditions and/or restrictions shall correspond to the high risk condition and shall be included in the reward.

The state launched its probe into questionable Title I expenditures by the Dougherty School District on May 24 and found that "programmatic issues surrounding" the program resulted in the department questioning substantial costs in two different fiscal years.

The state questioned $167,025 in unallowable expenditures in FY 2011 and $126,856 in FY 2012.

The Georgia DOE has identified problems concerning the financial management and program implementation, including lack of internal controls in expenditure of federal funds; personnel and consultant expenditures; problems with contracts, procurement and monitoring, and inadequate policies and procedure for various fiscal processes.

In addition, the state cited unsatisfactory performance in implementing School Improvement requirements at Dougherty Comprehensive High School, including hiring a permanent principal and hiring teachers; SIG (School Improvement Grants), and failure to implement the School Food and Nutrition (SFN) with fidelity, among other problems.

As a result, the state has placed the system's FY 2013 funds on a reimbursement basis. This means the DCSS may not draw any portion of its FY 2013 Title I Part A allocation until the state department has reviewed and approved all purchase orders, receipts and other documentation for reimbursement.

Other federal programs at the Georgia Department of Education may also decide to place the DCSS on a reimbursement basis.

In addition, the state may also require the District to hire a certified public accountant of the state DOE's choosing to assist with the monitoring and validation process related to federal funds.

The Georgia DOE has given DCSS 20 days to submit, in writing, a request for reconsideration of the system's high-risk status.

Comments

Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

Who checks the spelling in these articles - a DCSS graduate?

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 9 months ago

What the hell took them so long?

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 9 months ago

Breaking News? DCSS is "High Risk"

No SHi!! Just who has been asleep under a rock that this is just now news to?

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Bulldawg 1 year, 9 months ago

Why does the DOE give the Dougherty county BOE the chance to appeal the high risk status? The DOE has made its decision regarding the school system. The appeal just doesn't make sense to me. I guess the appeal is just legal CYA at work.

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outsidelookinin 1 year, 9 months ago

Why do convicted murderers get to appeal? It's just a part of the process. At least the state has stepped up and started the process. Unfortunately by the time anything really gets done "old Number 34" will be long gone and the mess will be someone else's to clean up.

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Cartman 1 year, 9 months ago

The Dougherty County BOE and our Superintendent finally get the recognition they deserve!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

EXCELLENT COMMENT! Many thumbs up!

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stc1993 1 year, 9 months ago

Hallalujah, finally someone is going to hold the DCSS to be responsible for misspending the taxpayer money. They should make them pay the money back they already stole. Darrell Sabbs you listening.

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saveourcity 1 year, 9 months ago

I hope plenty of people voted for Lane Price. She is the best hope to start the turnaround process.

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bigbob 1 year, 9 months ago

Can you imagine what will happen if Heard wins. You know the DOE is also watching this fiasco. Hopefully they get rid of Mr. bowtie to start with.

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Terry.Lewis 1 year, 9 months ago

Would you like for me to make the letter from the state available for download?

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ontario1966 1 year, 9 months ago

No way will heard win!! Look at the results so far! We are al telling heard to go to He**!!!!

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stc1993 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm glad he's losing so badly, he's nothing but a charlatan.

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Amazed2 1 year, 9 months ago

Unfortunately there are a lot of the black community that just does not Get It. That is how Junebug, Velvet, Murfree got the system into such a friggin mess. Also the reason Heard might just get enough votes. Simply not all but a lot of blacks are treating this bad situation as a black white issue when that is not the case. It is about the Children, black, white, pink and purple, its slso about the record od mismanagement but the current DCSS Administration lead by Mr #34 Murfree.

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waltspecht 1 year, 9 months ago

Now, if the State would establish some Professional Standards for School Board Members there would be hope at the end of the tunnel. However, as long as any individual can get elected to the post, the problems will continue. People trying to run a School System that know nothing about the procedure and practices involved in the Educational process result in repeated, and continuous failure as has been evidanced by many school boards around this area. Schools are big business, and account for a vast sum of tax money. Unfortunately due to poor management the taxpayers are receiving very little in return for their money.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 9 months ago

Coach went deadly silent when he read there is a letter from the state. Waiting for your comments and thoughts, Coach/Bubba?!

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Amazed2 1 year, 9 months ago

After you read the article about the Mess of DCSS and the High Risk Status by the Department of Education just remember Ol #34 Murfree was nominated by sone crony for Superintendent of the Year in 2012. Again that is the mentality of acceptance of the Mess we have with the DCSS and elsewhere. That is also the State of the Union.

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jglass 1 year, 9 months ago

Now, who wants to blame this mess on Sally Whatley???? It is SO sad for the children of the school system that the adults put in charge of a system to help them get what is needed for education has totally FAILED them. Has wasted, and wasted, and wasted money. They DCSS Board and the Office on Pine should be held accountable in some way for the situation they have put the system in. #34 should be told to not let the door hit him in the rear. He and who ever wrote the checks for his buddies for Saturday School and "motivational speaking" should have to pay the system back. There have not been the proper "checks and balances" put into place within the school system. The school system depends on these funds, and the super. and his staff have put that in jeopardy, yet they still have jobs and the ones who are voted in keep getting voted in. What a SHAME!!!! waltspecht...............I AGGEE with you!!!!

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tywebb 1 year, 9 months ago

AGGEE????? kidding.....just couldn't resist

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rightasrain 1 year, 9 months ago

The Governor needs to place the DCSS under State control until all this mess can be cleaned up and intelligent, non-self-serving board members be APPOINTED. Thank God Lane Price has been elected, but she can't do it all by herself.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 9 months ago

Where they not already classified as "high-risk" before now? I was under the impression they had already been deemed high-risk years ago and had never lost that status. I could be wrong, though.

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Outtahere 1 year, 9 months ago

"Has a management system that does not meet the management standards in this part" - This statement really sums it up!

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tywebb 1 year, 9 months ago

does anyone else find it ironic that ol' # 34 totally screwed up "Federal regulation 34 CFR"?

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Amazed2 1 year, 9 months ago

Also dont forget checks written to parents to re-imburse parents for bond money abd/or fines to get students out of jail that wers arrested by the DCSS Police Department. Also check to parents to pay for lost ir stolen musical instruments. Thats not counting what the public does not know about.

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JustAnotherVoice 1 year, 9 months ago

WHAT?! YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING, RIGHT?!

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Amazed2 1 year, 9 months ago

The DCSS should just put #34 on paid leave till the end of his contract and take his keys and change the licks

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Amazed2 1 year, 9 months ago

The State DOE is basically running the DCSS at this point anyway so might as well hire a retired Temp to complete the year.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

It's time for either the local DA or state AG to look into money usage. Malfeasance, misfeasance, non-feasance, fraud all of it should be on the table. I for one am glad to have the State BOE so directly involved. Save us Boss Barge!

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Amazed2 1 year, 9 months ago

Unfortunately our DA is not real agressive on this kind of Crime. I think he is a honest man but he seems to shy away from controversity.

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glennw 1 year, 9 months ago

I guess David Maschke was right after all...

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