Dougherty County School Board member Robert Youngblood, right, and Interim Superintendent Butch Mosley chat prior to Monday’s school board meeting. Youngblood wants the DCSS to look into seeing if there is interest in setting up a charter school for the children of Marines and base employees at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County School Board member Robert Youngblood proposed on Monday that the district enter into discussions with Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany to explore the possibility of creating a K-thru-8 charter for the children of Marines and base employees.
Youngblood's motion to form an ad hoc committee to begin exploratory discussions passed the board on a 5-0 vote, with Darrel Ealum and James Bush abstaining.
"I know we are in the midst of possible school consolidation, closings and rezoning," Youngblood said. "But school systems are very important to military families, and I think a charter school with the Marine Base would be of benefit to the community, especially during the next round of BRAC (base realignment and closing committee) hearings."
Youngblood said his plan was based on the perception that the DCSS is not currently meeting the needs of the base's school age children.
"Timing is everything, especially right now," Bush said after the meeting.
Youngblood said the system is currently losing base students to Worth County, Lee County, Baconton Charter and homeschooling.
"This charter would be in collaboration with the base and the parents could pick the board of directors who would then hire the teachers they wanted," Youngblood said. "I'd like to see if there is interest in a K-thru-8 charter school and if the people on the base would support it. It would be predicated on FTE (full time equivalent) money and see if we can recoup some of that money we are losing to other counties.
"I'd like to see if the base is interested."
FTE money is paid by the state to a school district on a per student basis. According to DCSS Executive Director of Finance and Operations Ken Dyer, the state is currently paying the district an average of more than $3,800 per year per pupil.
Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely was generally in favor of Youngblood's proposal but added, "first we have to have a product that they'd want to come back to."
The next meeting of the school board is set for Feb. 27 at 11:30 a.m. at West Town Elementary School.