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School system officials need public’s input

Editorial

As critical as the public education system is to the health of a community, Albany and Dougherty County residents have shown little interest in the last two attempts to communicate important information with the public.

On Saturday at a town hall meeting set up by Albany City Commissioner Ivey Hines, Butch Mosely, interim superintendent of the Dougherty County School System, was on hand to talk about some of the positive things that are going on with the school district, which is coming out of an extended period of turmoil.

The the exceptions of family members who accompanied Mosely and Hines and two reporters — one with The Herald, the other with WFXL — no one from the public showed up. Granted, it was a Saturday meeting, but you’d think at least a few folks around town would have been interested in learning about what was going on with the school district.

On Monday, only two people attended two public hearings that the Dougherty County School Board conducted on its tentative $119 million budget for Fiscal Year 2014 that starts July 1. This is a critical area that impacts every family with a student in the system and every taxpayer in the county.

The students who are attending Dougherty County’s public schools now will be the adults who will be leading the county years down the road. The school system will have a tremendous impact on how well prepared they are to assume that responsibility.

It’s in everybody’s interest for citizens to stay informed on how that work is being accomplished and to share their ideas with the elected and appointed officials charged with overseeing the system. Involvement with the local educational system shouldn’t wait until a crisis point has been reached to kick in. It should be an ongoing commitment.