ALBANY, Ga. — The Georgia Department of Education has issued a letter to Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree outlining “corrective actions” that must be taken in regard to the hiring of a permanent principal at Albany High School.
Albany High has not had a full-time principal since Angela Schumate was suspended eight months ago in the wake of the CRCT investigation.
As a SIG (School Improvement Grant) school, at risk is approximately $1.8 million in federal funding for Albany High. The Dougherty School System is currently in the second year of the three-year program.
The Albany Herald has obtained a copy of the Oct. 2 letter from Sylvia Hooker, state deputy superintendent for school turnaround, to Murfree. In part, it reads:
“This letter is to inform Dougherty County School System (Albany High School) of the findings and required corrective actions that must be taken in order for the GaDOE to release School Improvement grant funds for the FY 2013 school year.
“It is the responsibility of the Office of School Turnaround to provide oversight and technical assistance in the program implementation of the SIG grant for DCSS (Albany High). Currently Albany High has an interim principal resulting from the removal of the former principal. In order for DCSS (Albany High) to remain compliant the following actions must occur:
- “1. On or before Oct. 9, post the position for Albany High School.
- “2. On or before Oct. 12, the date and time must be established for GaDOE designated staff to meet with DCSS Human Resources to assist in screening, interviewing and recommending candidates for principal of Albany High School.
- “3. On or before Oct. 19, recommend for approval to the Dougherty County Board of Education the candidate for principal of Albany High School and the start date of the permanent principal must be negotiated to begin immediately.”
The department conducted a cross-functional monitoring review of the DCSS’s federal grants programs on May 24. As a result of DCSS “not providing sufficient documentation for the monitoring team,” state education officials said, the department rescheduled the monitoring review for Aug. 28.
The result of that visit required DCSS to put together a “corrective action plan” that must be submitted to the state by Nov. 19.
The Albany High issue marks the third federal program which now involves the state Department of Education.
Earlier, the department required the school system hire an individual of its choosing to oversee the DCSS’s Free and Reduced Meals applications process. It will soon name a person to monitor the system’s federal program expenditures.
Race to the Top and E-Rate funding could also fall under state scrutiny.