Parents concerned by Dougherty schools -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Parents concerned by Dougherty schools

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More bad news for Dougherty County public schools, the state announced Thursday afternoon that Dougherty once again did not meet Annual Yearly Progress guidelines.

Across the state, fewer Georgia schools met AYP because of tougher academic requirements.

We talked with one parent who says she's concerned about the school system after her grandson made it all the way through elementary school not being able to read.

Ester Harris says she's done what she can to help her grandson, but she feels the schools need to be doing more to make sure students have the basics not just passing the situation along to another teacher.

Esther Harris' grandson will start the seventh grade in 10 days and she's worried he's headed back to school without the basics.

"He's a very good kid, he loves sports, he just has a problem in school with reading, his disability of learning," said Harris.

He reads at a Kindergarten level, but will be in seventh grade.

"For him to get the grades he got, somebody had to be doing the work for him," said Harris.

He attended Northside Elementary, one of the schools on the list for high erasures on the CRCT.

She wants to know where school resources go?  We looked at the numbers. Dougherty Schools spend on average $7,261 a student. That's more per students than all but one other south Georgia school system. Board member say it's what's done with the funding that counts.

"How can we maximize the expenditure of those dollars to most effectively educate the students," questioned Dougherty County School Board member David Maschke.

Many board members want ineffective programs to be re-evaluated and cut, instead of using furlough days to balance the budget.

"With an in depth analysis of all of our programs, there are some programs that we could cut," said Darrel Ealum, Dougherty County School Board member.

The number of students per classroom is going up and with fewer days in the classroom Harris wants better results for her grandson.

"If they had more patience and resources that they claim they were going to give to him that he never got, he would not be on the level that he is on now," said Harris.

A level she's says is unacceptable and she's working hard to improve.

Harris told us she's tried other resources including a learning center on Broad Avenue and the Renaissance Center to improve her grandson's reading level and wants the school system to step up.

Harris contacted school board member Carol Tharin in hopes of finding assistance. Tharin was told July 7th Superintendent Joshua Murfree would follow up on the situation. Harris still hadn't received a call Thursday.

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