Murfree responds to State DOE letters - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Murfree responds to State DOE letters

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Phoebe foundation receives donation for medical student housing

    Phoebe foundation receives donation for medical student housing

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:25:30 GMT
    Lauren Ray, Phoebe Foundation Executive DirectorLauren Ray, Phoebe Foundation Executive Director
    A generous donation will help build a $5 million medical student housing facility on Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's campus.The Richard King Mellon Foundation donated $1 million to the Phoebe Foundation for the proposed 25-unit gated community. More >>
    A generous donation will help build a $5 million medical student housing facility on Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's campus.The Richard King Mellon Foundation donated $1 million to the Phoebe Foundation for the proposed 25-unit gated community. More >>
  • Dougherty County School System has Open House

    Dougherty County School System has Open House

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:19:35 GMT
    Valerie Williams, Radium Springs Middle School PrincipalValerie Williams, Radium Springs Middle School Principal
    Dougherty County parents and students got to meet old and new faces at their schools this evening.The school system held an open house at each school for families to meet the staff and learn what to expect for the upcoming school year.More >>
    Dougherty County parents and students got to meet old and new faces at their schools this evening.The school system held an open house at each school for families to meet the staff and learn what to expect for the upcoming school year.More >>
  • Law enforcement and first responders collaborate for "National Night Out"

    Law enforcement and first responders collaborate for "National Night Out"

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:14:28 GMT
    Imaya FreeloveImaya Freelove
    First responders reached out to the community Thursday night to build better relationships and help kids get ready for school.For the first time, all the law enforcement and first responder agencies in Dougherty County worked together on a National Night Out event. More >>
    First responders reached out to the community Thursday night to build better relationships and help kids get ready for school.For the first time, all the law enforcement and first responder agencies in Dougherty County worked together on a National Night Out event. More >>
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Dougherty County School Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree issued a statement Thursday in response to reports of the Georgia Department of Education's corrective action letters of that were published earlier this week.

Murfree says that the DCSS is complying with corrective actions as they relate to the reported that affirmed our compliance with corrective action for the School Improvement Grant.

He also said the DCSS welcomes the extra scrutiny that 'High Risk' status brings.

Murfree pointed out to the state that the Albany has a high  concentration of poverty, and that the leadership will work hard to correct any problems within the school system.

Here is the text of Dr. Murfree's response-

"We have received the latest communication from the federal programs office at the Georgia Department of Education and there should be little surprise for the information it contains. Our board has been made aware of the state's recommendation to install a federal programs liaison employed with federal money by our school district to help give additional direction and oversight to the use of federal funds obtained from grant and title programs. The letters of November 5 restate that recommendation and we have expressed our desire to the state to proceed with that course of action. These letters present an opportunity for our system to improve some procedures and practices of the past and move forward. Federal program money is allocated for the purpose of improving student achievement, closing the achievement gap and addressing the academic needs in high poverty areas.

"Our system has one of the state's highest concentrations of children and families in poverty. Every dollar is needed to address the educational needs of children and I hope that is where they will ultimately be used. Prior to the letters of November 5, I received a letter dated November 1 that has not been reported that affirmed our compliance with corrective action for the School Improvement Grant (SIG). That letter stated, 'With SIG findings resolved, the Office of School Turnaround will submit a recommendation for approval  of your FY2013 SIG-1003(g) ARRA funds at the December 4, 2012 meeting of the State Board of Education.' " 

 "We take the charges of unsatisfactory performance of federal regulation 34 CFR very seriously. These issues began for our system with 'Complaint Investigation' of inappropriate awards, last year, for free or reduced meals (FRM) and a complaint against Title I.  The legal process for prosecution of these allegations was completed and no individuals have been found guilty of illegal activities as related to the free or reduced meals (FRM). We also took swift action to implement new measures of assurance for employees' FRM applications.

"The state indicated in the letter of our High Risk status, that these complaints led to a 'simultaneous FY 12 Cross-Functional Monitoring visit on May 24, 2012'. The review generated requests for more information regarding Title I personnel and funding. We have worked to answer each of the issues in question and will continue to seek resolution to questionable expenses and district management. 

"This "High Risk" status will mean closer scrutiny and an annual audit of our federal funded programs and we welcome that scrutiny. Until these issues are resolved, we will inform the board and public of our status with Race to the Top (RT3), School Improvement Grant (SIG), Title II-Part A, Title III, and Limited English Proficient funding status that is managed by the district's Curriculum and Instruction Department.  Also, we will inform the board and public of our status with the Title I program. The district understands the importance of ensuring clear and concise operational and procurement practices.  Therefore, the DCSS school board and the school district will work closely to address and correct any and all inadequate policies, procedures and various fiscal processes."

"My desire is to use all available resources to serve the needs of the children and youth of our school district. We hope to resolve these issues in a way that provides resources for student achievement in Dougherty County."

Below are links to the letters that the State  Department of Education sent to the Dougherty County School System earlier this week.

  • Click HERE to read the High Risk Letter
    • Click Here to read the Fiscal year 2011 Costs letter

     

    Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.