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Dougherty County School Board approves $1.4 million for new textbooks

The Dougherty School Board adopts the Charter School Option as its School System Flexibilty Model

Dougherty County School Board Vice Chairman James said Tuesday he was all for new textbooks, but he balked at the $1.4 million price tag that came with the purchase. Bush voted to approve the purchase of the new print and digital material, but added, “I won’t vote for a tax increase to pay for it.” (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)

Dougherty County School Board Vice Chairman James said Tuesday he was all for new textbooks, but he balked at the $1.4 million price tag that came with the purchase. Bush voted to approve the purchase of the new print and digital material, but added, “I won’t vote for a tax increase to pay for it.” (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)

ALBANY — The Dougherty County School Board on Wednesday approved spending nearly $1.4 million on its first major purchase of textbooks in 14 years.

The purchase of textbooks (print and digital) for Reading/English Language Arts in grades kindergarten through 12th was awarded to McGraw Hill.

“Our textbooks are obsolete and it is time for them to go,” DCSS Curriculum Director Ufot Inyang said. “Fourteen years is way past time to go.”

The system plans to upgrade its textbooks in one-year increments and one subject at a time.

“We really can’t wait any longer,” Board Chair Carol Tharin said. “If we don’t have textbooks, our kids can’t learn.”

In another major decision, the School Board selected the Charter School System as its School Flexibility Model, which was one of five options offered by the Georgia Georgia Department of Education.

“Given where the district leadership feels the district is at the time, it is the recommendation of the system leadership that the DCSS adopt the Charter System as its Flexibility Opening,” Inyang wrote in a memo to DCSS Superintendent Butch Mosely. “Due consideration was given to the fact that any of the options chosen must align with the district’s Strategic Plan that the district has started rudimentary work on.

“This is important in that the petition for the charter will incorporate the district’s Strategic Goals, among others. A glimpse into what that final document (Strategic Plan) will look like, lends itself to the Charter System.”

Under the Charter System, a local school district has an executed charter from the State Board of Education granting it freedom from nearly all of Title 20 state School Board rules and state Education Department guidelines. The charter is a contract between the school district and the Georgia Board of Education.

As a result, the district gains flexibility to innovate in exchange for increased academic accountability. Additionally, the charter will allow for school-based leadership and decision-making, as well as school-level autonomy and accountability.

In other board action, the panel approved naming Brent Fowler as permanent principal at Sherwood Acres Elementary School and Robert McIntosh permanent principal at Dougherty High School. The board also approved Ty Randolph as the new head boys basketball coach at Dougherty High and accepted the retirement of Merry Acres Elementary school Principal Scott Horton.

The board will conduct its next meeting at 6 p.m. May 12 in the School Administration Building at Washington Street and Pine Avenue.