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Board holds second closure hearing

Former Albany City Commissioner Henry Mathis speaks before the Dougherty County School Board during a public hearing Thursday where he urged the board not to vote for the closures of Sylvester Road Elementary and Dougherty Middle schools.

Former Albany City Commissioner Henry Mathis speaks before the Dougherty County School Board during a public hearing Thursday where he urged the board not to vote for the closures of Sylvester Road Elementary and Dougherty Middle schools.

ALBANY, Ga. — The Dougherty County School Board held a second public hearing Thursday to discuss the possible closures of Sylvester Road Elementary and Dougherty Middle schools and the repurposing of Magnolia Elementary.

More than 50 people attended the hearing, which was held in the city-county commission chambers. Eight people voiced their concerns about the proposed closures.

At the end of the meeting, Board Chairwoman Carol Tharin announced that a “public information session” would be held on Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the commission chambers for further discussion of the matter.

At Thursday’s hearing, former Albany City Commissioner Henry Mathis accused the board of moving too quickly to close the two eastside schools.

“I have always been told that to get through a process, there should be a process. We have not gotten that from this school board,” Mathis said. “We only found out about this three weeks ago, and you could vote on it next week. The bottom line is that you have left us out of the loop.”

Former Albany State University football coach and eastside resident Hamp Smith offered a simple solution to the possible closures.

“We’ve got more than 400 kids on the eastside who are not in school,” Smith said. “If you could get those kids into school then we wouldn’t have a capacity problem.”

“Everybody is talking about how much money we can save by closing schools, but nobody is talking about spending it on our kids,” said Shirley Jordan. “If those schools are closed, it will hurt our community. Dougherty County and the eastside is falling down every day.”

Ward I City Commissioner Jon Howard, whose district includes Sylvester Road and Dougherty Middle, agreed.

“We take pride in our community, neighborhoods and schools,” Howard said. “The first I heard of this proposal, I was petrified. I thought ‘they are moving too fast.’”

Louise Don, a volunteer and advocate for Magnolia, said the decision facing the board is an important one.

“The Dougherty County School System is at a fork in the road,” Don said. “We now have a new School Board, but one of the problems in the past is that people don’t trust the board.”

Earlier in the meeting, Executive Director of Finance and Operations Ken Dyer attempted to assure the crowd, saying, “People will not lose their jobs as a result of this plan.”

Dyer said the system currently has enough openings to absorb the administrators and teachers of both Sylvester Road and Dougherty Middle.

Board member James Bush said he appreciated the public’s input over the two hearings.

“The people expressed a lot of different concerns and posed many questions,” Bush said. “We probably should have involved the public much earlier. Now we must digest this information and decide what to do.

“I will, however, ask Mr. Dyer to furnish the board with a financial outlook if we decide to do nothing at all.”

Comments

MisterEd 1 year, 10 months ago

Hamp - if those 400 kids that are not in school are under the age of 16, the parents should be arrested for not having them in school. Assuming of course, that they know who their daddy might be, and that they aren't being pawned off on grandma.

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MRKIA 1 year, 10 months ago

COACH HAMP'S SO CALLED SIMPLE SOLUTION COULD ONLY COME FROM A SIMPLE MIND. WOW. DON'T CLOSE THE SCHOOLS, FIND SOME DROP-OUTS TO FILL THEM UP.

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dickyboy 1 year, 10 months ago

I think Hamp was mis quoted when he said he lived on the east side....

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oldster 1 year, 10 months ago

The enrollment in DCSS has been falling for many years. Because of this some schools will have to be closed and no matter which schools they decide to close it will be painful for part or all of the community. Push has come to shove, there is not enough tax money to keep all of these schools open. This is a time for leadership by the school board and the administration to make the tough decisions that must be made, and it is a time for the people to face the reality of this difficult situation.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

Henry says “I have always been told that to get through a process, there should be a process." Don't look now fellow but that's what you are in the middle of right now.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

its all about the dollar bill......somebody needs to care about whats best for the kids.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

You mean if those two recommended schools are closed, the kids aren't going to be allowed in one of the other schools? That would be horrible! But then maybe if those two high cost schools are closed there would be more money to educate those kids in a different school? People are just STUPID plain and simple.

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B4it 1 year, 10 months ago

Bubba... Wow, what a genius. I am sure you and all the rest who think like you will gladly give up all of your savings and half of your assets and half of any future earnings to do what is best for the kids. You be that "somebody" and make it happen.

Some of us are just fed up with wasteful spending, the lack of leadership to spend money wisely and efficiently, and fed up with listening to whiners like you always wanting someone else to fork over their money.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

How silly can you get??? The interest of the children out way any issue you have with savings, taxes, or a white BOE. Those kids at Dougherty Middle didnt ask for this. They deserve better teachers and funds to support a changing world in education.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

bubbasmith wrote "They deserve better teachers and funds to support a changing world in education. "

Does it even occur to you that by closing these schools they could save enough money to hire better teachers and funds to support the changing world in education?

Or is your biggest gripe because they have a majority white BOE?

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B4it 1 year, 10 months ago

I think we all know what Bubbas.... racist hidden agenda is about. And I really don't think he has the capability to understand the logical thoughts you have presented.

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Thurman 1 year, 10 months ago

@ Mr. Dyer: I don't believe the issue with these possible school closures is anyone losing a job. The real issue here is the education of our young people in Dougherty County. Hopefully Coach Smith has a plan to get possible students identified and back into the education system.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

People like our buddy bubbasmithredneck doesn't know anything about saving money, they think spending is the best solution. I guess it is okay to spend as long as it is someone else's money. The money saved by closing those schools could provide for more and better school books and supplies to better educate those kids, at least those that want to learn and get an education.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

People like our buddy VSU are killing this community with right-winged sick views about how our children should be educated. They dont even have kids in the DCSS. but wanna tell you how it should be handled. Thank God Romney got whooped in that last election....whew!!!!

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Do you have any kids in the DCSS? What is sick about wanting to save money? People like you are the ones that are killing the community. People like you support wasteful spending like keeping schools open that is wasting taxpayers money. People like you doesn't know anything about saving money, because you don't mind spending money that is not yours. Why do we need 3 half empty schools to be open, to teach ghosts?

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

Before you ASSUME anything about me you need to ask bucko.......I do not support wasteful spending. If the DCSS was interested in helping the children, they would make their cuts in some of the useless and expensive programs in the system and invest in good retention programs. Maybe one or two schools need to close, but the aim of our tax dollars should go towards hiring more highly qualified teachers and moving stronger teachers to weaker schools.The aim of our tax-dollars should go towards investing into research-based and proven successful learning programs in our classrooms. The system has money, but the problem is that it is being used for old out-dated garbage programs that cant compete with a changing educational world. Do your homework VSU and Terry before you come at the man.....

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

Once again having schools at half capacity is wasteful spending, can you not get that through your head? That's like Miami Marlins building that new stadium and only 1000 people attend the game. I don't have to do my homework, it's not riocket science to know how to save money and to know that combining 3 schools into one can save a lot of money, but you being a democrat, I can understand you not knowing how to save money, you just want to spend spend spend until it's all gone. That is what the former school board did. They spent spent and spent and the money was gone.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 10 months ago

Some of those 400 kids were probably the trouble makers and do not need to be in school. Teachers need more than a warm body or a trouble maker to boot. If they sincerely wanted to learn they would have stayed and graduated.

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waltspecht 1 year, 10 months ago

We assign the non-custodial parent a set fee for educational support in addition to child support. Then we hold the Custodial Parent accountable for the performance of the children in school. If the non-custodial parent fails to make payments, they are assigned a job, and all pay diverted to support. If the custodial parent fails the children, their support payments are cut accordingly. Either fails to comply and we jail them in as uncomfortable a situation as we can put them into. However for this to work we must follow Shakespears admonishment from Henry the Sixth. "First we kill all the Lawyers" Or we use Lincoln's lead and disempower the Courts. Thats about the only way we would have to hold these people accountable.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

Tell Mathis the following: Bow Ties is OUT this Season!! What a DOPE!!

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

Tell Sister Ruby the following: ROMNEY LOST!!! hahahaha

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

Correction, bsrn. It was the United States of America that LOST!!

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

I dont know what USA you are talking about....because my country is NUMBER ONE!!!! and we are doing fine!!! I love it.....I LOVE OBAMA!!! Our family is doing great under his administration. Much better than when BUSH was President....so, If you think its so bad,... leave!!!! Go to China or Turkey......I heard the weather is fine over there......Cause' we got 4 more years to celebrate!!!

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

hey bubbasrn......on another note, there's a crazy black guy out there who's shot up a bunch of people, written a crazy note praising liberals and hating on conservatives, and is now running loose somewhere in California and will probably kill again before it's over. You've been wanting to see one of those so I hope you're happy now.

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B4it 1 year, 10 months ago

BSRN - I challenge you to produce just one example of why you are better off with BHO than with GWB.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

More welfare and food stamp money.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

Off the top of my head.....here is 8 reasons why I am better off with Obama......

1) He kept college tuition affordable..... 2) The cash for clunkers program worked for me!!!! 3) Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden is dead.... 4) Foreign oil dependence is down 5) The rich have to finally pay their fair share, and the middle class can catch a break for a chance. 6) Home interest rates are lower under Obama than crazy BUSH MAN, so I bought a new house...at 4.25% ( and I can still re-fi If I want at 3.75%) 7) and OBAMACARE IS THE BOMB!!! 8) Al-Quida is running scared now....and now a minimal threat to America thanks to Barack Obama and his DRONES!!!

I hope Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton team up in 4 years and beat the hell out of the REPUBS again!!!!

That was easy B4it.......now what chump????

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

First of all Obuma had nothing to to with Saddam Hussein, he was gone before Obuma took office. He just happen to be president at the time of Osama and if the Navy Seals hadn't of found him, he would still be out there. Al-Quida is rebuilding and already killed a US Ambassador which your administration did nothing to prorect other than to blame the riot on a muslim movie. Obamacare will further hurt this country, and gas prices are still high and rising again. I doubt you even finished high school much less college so the college thing couldn't have helped you any.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

Your ignorance is showing again while your nose continues to grow. My President, President Obama successfully fought to prevent federal student loan interest rates from doubling for more than 7 million students, and capped federal student loan repayments at 10% of income. This means responsible students and their families can make decisions about the future based on career goals rather than the price of tuition. Under Bush, tuition was growing out of control. But then again, you dont care because you went to VOMIT STATE UNIVERSITY where tuition is Vomit......right VSU???

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

You're ignorance is shown everyday.....you're proof that you can't fix stupid and if you are sick with your vomit thing then you better run to your nearest toilet. You need to go see a doctor because I never seen noboby vomit as much as you do. Must be that dog poop you continue to eat, I always knew you had shit for brains, I guess that is why you have vomit on your mind. See you later coach.

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VSU 1 year, 10 months ago

You know I've tried to be nice to you the past few weeks, but once again your true colors come out. None of that garbage you just said had nothing to do with what I said, so you change the subject. Whenever you are wrong about something you come out with your vomit crap, but if it makes you happy vomit away, it doesn't bother me any, because I realize a person like you is nothing more than a jerk and once a jerk, always a jerk. See you later coach jack@$$.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 10 months ago

Hey man, you started it...so I finished it....SUCKA!!!!

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Ihope4albany 1 year, 10 months ago

I hope that there is more opportunity for the citizens to be involved in the process. It is true that DCSS shut the community out of the process. To have made the decision and then use the "Public Hearing" rubber stamp method for such an important decision like this is another irresponsible action of this school board. Enough is enough. There should have been some type of community impact section of the report done, which was not. The data presented by the consultant and the school system only talk about enrollment, space, and dollars. There was no data that really focused on the children.

I hope for Albany!

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

You think that bunch of FREAKAZOIDS that formerly ruled the DCSS Board relied on data to make their decisions?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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