ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County School System Finance Committee met Tuesday and received Title I corrective action updates from Executive Director of Finance and Operational Services Ken Dyer.
Dyer said the district and the State Department of Education had agreed to a $91,000 reimbursement (down from $167,000) in questionable Title I expenditures from Fiscal Year 2011 and a $106,000 repayment for an unallowable administrator's salary in the the Teacher Quality program.
"We are making progress," Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely said in regard to resolving the system's title programs issues with the state. "It's not moving fast enough to suit me, but it is progress. And unfortunately, it's cost us a lot of time and money we could have used elsewhere."
The DOE's cross-functional monitoring team is expected to visit the school system early next month. The inspection team was the same one that visited last May. That visit led to a litany of Title I problems for the district resulting in numerous reimbursements and eventually led to the ouster of former superintendent Joshua Murfree.
"Next month's meetings are absolutely important," Mosely said. "To be honest, right now our biggest problem with the state is convincing them that we are doing the right things and we want to move on from this mess."
As the June FY 2014 budget deadline draws nearer, the committee agreed to meet twice monthly until the spending plan comes together.
The next committee meetings were set for 8:30 a.m. April 16 and 30.
After the meeting was adjourned, Dyer was asked about what will happen to the 177 administrators, teachers and staff at Sylvester Road (56), Dougherty Middle (62) and Magnolia Elementary (59), which are scheduled for closure at the end of this school year.
"Nobody's going to lose their jobs. We're not going to lay anybody off because of this," Dyer said. "The teachers will move with the students. The custodial staff will fill open and substitute positions at other schools."
Last month, the School Board, citing the district's declining enrollment numbers and a money crunch, voted 5-2 to shutter Dougherty Middle and Sylvester Road and to repurpose Magnolia Elementary.
DCSS officials say the moves will save the district $2 million a year and $11 million in SPLOST (special-purpose local-option sales tax) money, which can then be used at other schools.
Sylvester Road's students will be reassigned to Turner and Jackson Heights elementary schools.