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DCSS gets 'corrective action plan'

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Herald has obtained a Sept. 7 letter from the Georgia Department of Education Title Programs Division to Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree in which the DOE says the department "has determined that the DCSS has ongoing financial and programmatic findings surrounding the appropriate implementation of federal education programs."

The letter, from Title Programs Director Margo DeLaune, goes on to say, "(I)t has become clear that the GaDOE Title Programs must take (the following) corrective action for the District or run the additional risk of oversight by the U.S. Department of Education (US ED)."

The situation stems from a May 24 complaint investigation team visit to the DCSS seeking documentation on questionable Title I, Part A expenditures and Free and Reduced Meals (FRM) numbers.

FRM numbers are used by the state to disburse federal program funding throughout Georgia. Last year more than 82 percent of the Dougherty school system's 16,000 public school students qualified for FRM, and state DOE officials said they had reason to doubt the accuracy of the numbers turned in by the district.

In addition, the state is demanding the reclassification or repayment of $134,626 in questionable Title I expenditures from FY 2012 and has given the DCSS until Sept. 28 to comply.

At stake is more than $12 million in federal funding for FY 2013 -- nearly 10 percent of the system's FY 2013 budget -- which remains frozen until the DOE is satisfied with the system's responses.

The state found "concerns surrounding the financial management and program implementation practices of the DCSS. Findings included, but were not limited to, lack of internal controls in Title I, Part A expenditures, contracts, procurement, and monitoring; inadequate policies and procedure for various fiscal processes; and supplanting of federal funds. The GaDOE's Title Programs Division has also found systemic problems with program noncompliance."

The state has instructed the DCSS to hire two individuals of the state Department of Education's choosing to oversee Title I, Part A expenditures and procedures, and to monitor and oversee FRM applications and procedures.

The latest letter also states that at minimum the DCSS must:

  • Provide the GaDOE-approved individual with office space and equipment and access to Title I, Part A documents and databases.
  • Fully participate in the development and implementation of a specific corrective action plan.
  • Implement the corrective plan with fidelity.
  • Respond to all directives in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with on-site GaDOE staff liaison.
  • Maintain an open dialog with GaDOE Title Programs Division staff.
  • Commit federal Title I, Part A financial resources to cover the costs associated with the hiring of the GaDOE designated staff to assist the district with the implementation of their Title I, Part A program.
  • Acknowledge that as any additional areas of concern are determined to exist, there may be added corrective actions to the Corrective Action Plan for DCSS.

"Failure to comply with the corrective actions as agreed upon by the DCSS could result in the withholding of federal funds, a high-risk designation or both," the letter concluded. "This would result in yearly monitoring by US ED, quarterly monitoring by the GaDOE and quarterly reporting to the US ED for a three-year period. Moreover, if DCSS is designated as high-risk, public notice of DCSS's high-risk status would be published in the Federal Register."

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 11 months ago

This doesn't sount like a "corrective action plan". It sounds like "corrective actions required" and the plan for taking corrective action remains the responsibility of DCSS. Am I missing something?

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FryarTuk 1 year, 11 months ago

The Do Co Board should fire #34 and Betty Graper to start their plan of action.

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waltspecht 1 year, 11 months ago

Would someone please clean and seal the brick on that sign. It would be a good project for Monroe's Masonary Class.

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Amazed2 1 year, 11 months ago

Looks like a Reprimand and a Final Warning to DCSS. Does not look like a corrective action. Looks like a Mandate to me. Either get you SHIP in order or we are cutting off you fuel supply. A final warning shot over the bow of a miss guided ship. A ship operated by Captain #34. Unfortunately Capt #34 never learned to use a compass so the ship is lost at sea. If you simply follow existing written procedures you dont need a correction action plan!!!!!!

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Bubbavet_rureel 1 year, 11 months ago

Read my lips: This message is old, surley you can find something positive to say. The current system will be fine, the impovements will be made, they have Dyer in place, and he will dot the I's and cross theTt's.

Bottom line: It takes time to clean up old mess from the previous administration.

Leave Dr. Murfree alone, we support him 100% - get it!

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waltspecht 1 year, 11 months ago

Just what is your take on cleaning up that sign?

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bubbavet 1 year, 11 months ago

Stupid is as stupid does. SOS

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Amazed2 1 year, 11 months ago

Who exactly is WE?? Im not a "WE'" member I guess. If you be A WE leader great I wiill be glad to shut up as soon as the peoples you refer to as "We" pay my DCSS portiom of my proprerty tax bill each and every year.

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 11 months ago

I answered this the other day, LOL!

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 11 months ago

It seems I'm not the only person using an iPad. Does shinedown have any upcoming concerts in the area? :)

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 11 months ago

Find something positive? Okay....I am positive that the school board has been put on notice to clean up its act or get the hell out of Dodge....

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whattheheck 1 year, 11 months ago

The letter went to Murfree as the addressee, not the BOE. The BOE cannot and should not run day-to-day operations. This is the job of the Super who has failed miserably or else the letter with the promise of a lot of extra help from the outside would not have been written. There are systemic problems in the system, lunches and cheating being two most notable, but the flagrant misuse or poor use of funds now reported is happening on this guys watch. It most likely happened under other Super's watches also but everything now reported in the media, and noted by the state and fed, happened on Murfree's watch and the defense of "others did it first" just won't work--others are not the Super now.

Murfree's contract will not be renewed. To say that he does not have a vote of confidence is putting it mildly. For what we are paying, a good Super can be hired and an attempt will certainly be made.

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Amazed2 1 year, 11 months ago

Same deal to you funky monkey when I stop getting a DCSS tax bill I will stop talking about the Obvious lost ship.. Maybe "WE" should help him read the map.

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Amazed2 1 year, 11 months ago

Funky Monkey "WE" aint living in Dodge.

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jglass 1 year, 11 months ago

GOOD GRIEF!!!! The DCSS operation is never going to get their act together! They do not know how to function by the "rules".!!!!

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RedEric 1 year, 11 months ago

This is only the beginning, albeit beginning of the end for some. 82 percent on FRM? Fraudulently. I believe that. Just as I believe the parent(s) is on welfare, food stamps, housing, etc., etc. fraudulently. The investigation of who is on it and why is part of this investigation. I would advise those guilty of lying and stealing from the American people to buy another ID from their source at the DMV and move out of Georgia.

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whattheheck 1 year, 11 months ago

The pressure is on the get those connected to the DCSS off the FRM since their salaries are easily determined. Those who work in the private arena will likely get a pass because effort won't be put into making a proper determination. Regardless, I believe there are also "phantom" kids in the 82 percent--it was a bloated number to begin with intentionally overstated to get extra money for the DCSS.

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Jacob 1 year, 11 months ago

Perhaps the average citizen of Albany is not mentally or ethicially equiped to handle providing for themselves. Maybe they really do need handouts, special consideration and tolerance for laziness, stupidity and ingrained greed and crookedness. It may not be their fault. They can't help it if they aren't bright enough and don't have a natural work ethic. We who can earn our own way should pity them.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 11 months ago

There sure are a lot who can figure out how to be rolling around town in new Mercedes and BMW luxury imports. I guarantee many of the folks rolling in these expensive vehicles are getting FRM and other forms of taking my tax money.

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Bubbavet_rureel 1 year, 11 months ago

Dr. Murfree is staying put, get over it. We the citzens have spoken, give the plan in place time to work.

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whattheheck 1 year, 11 months ago

Toast. He won't be renewed. Get over it. The BOE and the state are not going to wait on "the plan in place to work"." BTW, please shed some light on "the plan"--haven't seen a copy yet.

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tywebb 1 year, 11 months ago

remember.....BVR is #34. This is just the precursor to the SACs committee pulling the DCSS accreditation.

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Amazed2 1 year, 11 months ago

I guess that bubbervet person had lots of mirrors in his house. He must see his relection a lot cause he always refers to himself as a " We ".

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Amazed2 1 year, 11 months ago

IUnfortunately the USS DCSS has hits rocks in shallow water. Apparently Capt #34 continues to struggle with charting and maintaining proper course anf heading. Prior to this most recent grounding on the rock Capt #34 had gotten lost in the fog several times and run aground in the shallow. The Capt. Of the USS DCSS apparently struggles with such a large ship. The most recent grounding on the rocks has breached the hull below the waterline in seversl small location. Bilge pumps are runni

several place. The Coast Guard

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RedEric 1 year, 11 months ago

Come back next week for another exciting chapter featuring the struggles of intrepid Captain 34 against the "You People" right here in this theater.

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