Dougherty County School Superintendent Butch Mosely on Tuesday gave the Dougherty County Rotary Club a recap of the system’s highlights of the past year while also proving a peek into what the next school year might bring. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)
ALBANY — With the end of the 2013-14 school year approaching next week, it would be easy to assume that work at the Dougherty County School administration building would also be winding down. That, however is not the case.
Over the next few weeks the DCSS will focus on putting together its FY 2014-15 budget which must be delivered to the Georgia Department of Education by June 30. That budget will include critical personnel numbers including a new contract for DCSS Superintendent Butch Mosely, staff contract renewals (or non-renewals) and the possible elimination of staff furlough days.
On Tuesday, accompanied by School Board Chair Carol Tharin and board member Darrel Ealum, Mosely told the Dougherty County Rotary Club about the system’s recent accomplishments and also offered a peek into the future.
“Our motto is ‘Educational Achievement Beyond All Expectations,’” Mosely said. “And we are working very hard to get to that point. Financially we are coming off the cleanest audit we’ve had in years. We saved more than $900,000 in our Child Nutrition Program. We’re investing more than $90 million in facilities improvements. We also saved nearly $1 million in transportation costs by eliminating the transportation hub and becoming more efficient in the department.
“We are in the beginning stage of upgrading our entire wireless network and it is a dream of ours that in two years every child in the system with have their own tablet.”
Academically, Mosely said he was optimistic of what’s going on with the system’s new College and Career Performance Learning Center, where the goal is to improve the high school graduation rate throughout Dougherty County while affording students an opportunity to dual enroll in college level courses at Albany Technical College.
The superintendent also touted the hiring of 25 new EIP (Early Intervention Programs) teachers for K-3rd grades in an attempt to catch students who are lagging behind their peers. The DCSS’s previous EIP program was in place only in grades four and five.
Of course, staff furlough days were mentioned. While the system received more than $3 million from the state in austerity cut relief, the district unexpectedly lost $2.6 million of it in equalization cuts. That surprise put a dent in the system’s anticipated reserves.
“Eliminating the four remaining staff furlough days is still possible, but we’ll have to make some creative cuts to do it,” Mosely said.