ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany Herald has obtained an email from Georgia Department of Education Title 1 Programs Director Margo LeLaune asking the Dougherty County School System for reclassification or reimbursement of more than $406,000 in "non-Title I allowable" salaries and benefits of 10 employees in the system's Curriculum and IT departments.
The email, dated Wednesday, said the "DCSS has seven curriculum content coordinators being paid a 75-25 split with Title I monies paying the 75 percent portion of these salaries. This raises a supplanting concern since Title I is paying the larger portion of these staff position salaries as opposed to the 25 percent supplemental portion ... which Title I regulations require.
"In addition, the duties performed by these staff positions are non-Title I allowable."
The State is asking the DCSS to reclassify the 75 percent portion those salaries to another funding source or return $354,755.15 in salary and benefits paid from July of last year to Feb. 28.
"In addition, DCSS is paying for three technology positions which are non-instructional and are being used as general technology repair positions for the District, therefore non-Title I allowable," DeLaune wrote. "These Technology positions are being paid 100 percent with Title I monies."
The State is asking the DCSS to reclassify the 100 percent portion those IT salaries to another funding source or return $52,958.82 in salary and benefits paid from October of last year to Feb. 28.
"Wow. There is no doubt that this is another shocker," DCSS Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely said. "This is another blow, but we'll pick ourselves up and go after it again. We got in this jam and we'll just have to do everything we can do to work our way out of it and make things right."
Mosely added he is hopeful the system won't have to reimburse the entire $406,000
"We have a little room for negotiations, but I'm not holding out much hope they will bear fruit," he said.
Should the amount stand and the System has to cut a check, it will mean the school system has been forced to return more than $700,000 in Title I money to the state over the past seven months.