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DCSS must repay fund or reclassify

Joshua Murfree

Joshua Murfree

ALBANY, Ga. — The State Department of Education has sent a letter to the Dougherty County School System demanding reclassification or reimbursement of $134,626 in disallowed Title I expenditures.

It also requires the district to hire two people designated by the DOE to monitor Title I Programs and free and reduced meal applications.

The Albany Herald obtained a copy of the 16-page letter Friday. State officials say the corrective action they outlined must be completed by Sept. 28. The unallowable Title I expenditures must be reclassified from Title I to another non-federal account or be repaid to the state, the letter says.

The DOE’s School Improvement Division met with DCSS Superintendent Joshua Murfree on Aug. 3 to discuss the Dougherty County School District Effectiveness Plan. The meeting centered on corrective actions that the DCSS will be required to put into place for the 2012-13 school year

An Aug. 24 letter from DOE Deputy Superintendent Alvis King to Murfree requires the system to institute a three-part “District Effectiveness Plan” prescribed by the state and gives the system a deadline of Sept. 28 in which to comply. At stake is more than $11 million in federal funding for the district.

The requirements include:

n A plan to provide support for the students who were impacted by the test tampering of the State’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT). According to the DOE, the plan should outline how the district will work with affected schools and students to ensure ethical procedures are not violated in the future. The department will provide onsite support through professional learning for the district and school leadership.

n A plan to ensure the appropriate use of Title I, Part A funds and Title I School Improvement 1003(a) (SIG Grant) funds. Outstanding corrective actions on the Fiscal Year 2012 budget that concluded June 30 must be corrected prior to the approval of FY 2013 Title I budgets. Of the $134,000 the state is seeking, $109,000 is the result of a $91,000 consultant contract to Darrell Sabbs and Associates and an $18,000 contract to motivational speaker Joseph Washington. Dabbs last month refunded the DCSS $6,000.

The state will also require the DCSS to hire an education department-designated individual to monitor the implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) free and reduced-priced meal (FRM) program application process. In addition the state will also require that the system hire an individual designated by the state department to assist the DCSS with implementation of the District’s Title I, Part A program to ensure federal compliance.

The state uses FRM numbers to distribute Title I monies to districts throughout the state, and in May expressed concern about the accuracy of the numbers it was getting from the DCSS. In FY12 82.2 percent of the system’s 16,000-plus students qualified for free or reduced meals.

The indictments of former Morningside principal Gloria Baker and School Board member Velvet Riggins on school lunch application fraud charges attracted the attention of the education department and was the trigger for the state’s probe of FRM numbers.

n A plan for the review of policies, procedures and practices related to the Individual With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The review will include policies and procedures that may influence disproportionality issues identified with students and disabilities. The five areas of focus will include the identification process, services and support, student progress, parent engagement and college and career readiness.

The collaborative effort between the DOE support team and the DCSS will utilize a team to monitor the implementation of the District Effectiveness plan utilizing a 45- to 60-day short-term action plan which will outline the actions with supporting artifacts and evidence that demonstrate compliance and quality implementation.

Authorities are also looking into federal ERate money, which last year was a $1.2 million grant to help provide wireless access and other technology services to poverty stricken areas. ERate money is also based on a district’s FRM numbers.

Comments

Bubbavet_rureel 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks, however, we plan to let the system keep us informed! We're having growing pains - give us room to grow and get better.

Semi-Retired, BVRU

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

Still mumbling nonsense..............an obvious product of "the system".........

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MRKIA 1 year, 7 months ago

YEAH, ROOM TO GROW DUMBER AS THE DAYS GO BY AND OF COURSE YOU'RE GETTING BETTER AT IT. YOU WANT TO BE KEPT INFORMED BY A SYSTEM THAT CAN'T UNDERSTAND HOW TO FILL OUT SCHOOL LUNCH FORMS OR DISBURSE TITLE ONE FUNDS AND YOUR CANDIDATE FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD CAN'T QUALIFY BECAUSE HE CAN'T ABIDE BY THE RULES. WHAT A JOKE!!!!!

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MisterEd 1 year, 7 months ago

Growing pains? How so, when the numbers in the DCSS have gone down over the past 10 years? What exactly is growing besides the number of students on the free or reduced lunch roles?

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Amazed2 1 year, 7 months ago

Growing pains !!! that is funny as heck why are we talking about closing a school or two to save money. I think that is called SHRINKING not growing. Less Students = LESS Guess Bubba gradeated from DCSS too.

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dingleberry 1 year, 7 months ago

This is a long overdue but unusually bold move on the part of the state. Nothing like having Col Sanders take a turn at guarding the chicken house. Likely, expenditures will decrease real soon and perhaps a few dollars will be spent on something rules permit. And perhaps the "greedy" will quit eating with the "needy".

The Governor will get first hand reports on what the DCSS family really does with money before taking the next step.

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waltspecht 1 year, 7 months ago

Now, let us all pray the two auditors aren't afraid of long hours and hard work. Plus have absolutely no ties to this community. A funds recovery CPA that just retired might be ideal to fill this venue. The payment process may be slower, but definately honest.

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VSU 1 year, 7 months ago

They may hire Anita Williams Brown for one of those positions.

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dingleberry 1 year, 7 months ago

A good auditor will clean the clock. Even a poor auditor would not struggle with this one. Plenty of low hanging fruit, including dingle berries, for all. Really don't need a CPA, just someone with common sense or perhaps some sense..

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Amazed2 1 year, 7 months ago

Just totally Amazed at how disfuntional the DCSS has become under the management or maybe the better term is Mis-management of the current school administration. Pretty obvious the current Key leaders have lillte to no management skills at the Level needed to operate this system. The buck stops at the top. Remember Murfree was ranked #34 of all the applicants that applied.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 7 months ago

BV that is some funny S###! And you say it with a straight face.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

How would one "re-class" $134,000? Just "declare" that the funds come from another budget line item? What difference would it make to do that?? versus just paying back the money to the Title I program? As somebody once called something like this "same thing a little different".

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tywebb 1 year, 7 months ago

when is dcss due for its next SACS reaccreditation? That could be the next headline for this mess: DCSS LOSES ITS ACCREDITATION! And I told you guys last year or so that bvr IS #34! Believe it

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Terry.Lewis 1 year, 7 months ago

The SACS team will arrive in Albany on Sept. 23.

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tywebb 1 year, 7 months ago

Terry, on Sept. 22, you might want to warm up the keyboard and tell the wife and kids you'll see them around Christmas!

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VSU 1 year, 7 months ago

Ever notice Murfree always has that smug smirk on his face?

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

It's that "Y'all come on and show me some love..." face.

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tywebb 1 year, 7 months ago

i think it's more like...."Hey, does anyone else smell that?" and of course our answer would be...."ummm, noooooo, we didn't have our nose that far up the board's arse, so, of course we don't smell what you smell!" Must've gotten some of it stuck in the 'stache!

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MRKIA 1 year, 7 months ago

OR "WHOEVER SMELT IT DEALT IT"

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Bubbavet_rureel 1 year, 7 months ago

Old News, please leave our system alone. We need for you negative posters to post positive comments.

Sister how is the Valdosta School System? Do you have anything positive to say? You must be bored with nothing to do.

Dont make me and Coach come out of retirement, You know, I will keep you straight, I made you stop using Mr. Tyler Perry Brand, didn't I?

The Real Set Them Staight - Semi-Retired BVR

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 7 months ago

The only thing you've ever made me do, b_r is throw up in my mouth a little bit from time to time.

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Jacob 1 year, 7 months ago

Here's a positive comment- judgement day is coming and we will all rejoice when the children of this community stop getting their futures sold down the river by the current band of incompetent, racist profiteers.

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Citizen_A 1 year, 7 months ago

"There is something rotten in the state of Denmark"...or DCSS...That explains the "I smell something stinky" look he always has...

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nofreeloader 1 year, 7 months ago

it's the clip on bow tie that gives him that look , it's poking him in his jugular. a hint of blush is always present also, most likely the embarrassment of being caught of mis- deeds that he cant seem to figure out how they found out . getting hot aint it mr. bow tie.

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ConcernedVoter 1 year, 7 months ago

There should be a new effort at integrity and honesty by anyone affiliated with DDSS. These two crucial components of a good school system have been sorely missed. I also agree that more positive news needs to come out of DDSS, but first there needs to be a concerted effort to make these positive events happen. Too many have forgotten that the students are the first priority.

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agirl_25 1 year, 7 months ago

In reference to what ConcernedVoter said....as you know I don't have kids in the DoCo school system and don't even live in DoCo...and have said I would keep my mouth shut about the problems the school system has but something CV said stuck a chord with me and I must make one last comment..and then shall step back and be a spectator....it is the first sentence....

"There should be a new effort at integrity and honesty by anyone affiliated with DDSS."

The thing that has always bothered me about the blogs here is that MR Murfree doesn't seem to be qualified for his job. It seems to me he must be someone's friend or he is calling in a pretty big favor if he was #34 on the list of candidates and got the job. I went to the Howard University Alumni web page and DID NOT find him as an alumni.....and yet on his online resume he lists himself as a graduate of there with a PhD from Howard University. This in itself, makes ConcernedVoter's plea moot (for ASU grads - moot - open for discussion, debatable). If I had children in the school system I would want to make sure that the person at the helm was who he said he was and that ConcernedVoter's statement is indeed a positive building block. You have got to clean up the place...too many liars, too much good-old-boy back slapping going on.....HAVE YOU ACTUALLY FORGOTTEN THE CHILDREN ARE WHAT YOU ARE HERE FOR....!!!!!!!!!

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