Digging Deeper: Dougherty Schools resources - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: Dougherty Schools resources

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Half of Dougherty County Schools didn't meet Annual Yearly Progress federal guidelines set up by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Only 13 of 26 schools met the standards, just one of four Dougherty County High Schools made AYP.

As students prepare to head back to the classroom, they'll have less days in front of teachers and more student per class to deal with.

When the bell rings August first, more than 15-thousand students will head back to school in Dougherty County. The school system's overall budget for the year is 189 million dollars, teachers will be furloughed 10 days and students only have a 177 day school year.

"We're getting less instruction time in the classroom to our students," said Dougherty County School Board Member Darrel Ealum..

Digging deeper we looked into what type of experience teachers will bring to the classroom. Using report card results from the 2009-2010 school year we found 8 of the more than one thousand teachers have more than 30 years experience. The lions share of teachers have between 11 and 30 years experience. The average annual salary is $51,679, while the average salary for support personnel is $65,059. Administrators on average make more than $86,000. Board member David Maschke feels in some cases its too much.

"There are certain employees in the school system that are currently overpaid. The board is aware of it the administration is award of it," said David Maschke, Dougherty County School Board Member.

Female teachers out number male teachers nearly 8 to 1. Teacher salaries make up 90 percent of the operating budget. Dr. Anita Williams Brown understands the board must look at programs, but doesn't want to see layoffs. The board will start a system wide review in October.

"Before I vote again to reduce our teacher pay, to reduce the number of days our teachers are in the classroom with their students that we need to take another look at other options in the budget," said Ealum.

Programs David Maschke suggests like Saturday school.

"The attendance Saturday school where a student just comes and just sits there for five hours in order to make up a day without doing any productive studying work is really a waste of money," said Maschke.

Because they pay police, teachers, and principals extra money for the program. With another 9 million dollars to cut out of next years budget, board members say it can be done, but will take a critical eye.

The Dougherty County School system budget is one of the largest in the county. The system spends more per student than all but one other south Georgia school system.