Officials with the Dougherty County School System have recommended the hiring of around 20 new Early Intervention Program teachers to target elementary school students who are struggling in reading and math.
DCSS Finance Director Kenneth Dyer says the move will cost approximately $1 million, but around 80% will be funded through the state once the students are reclassified into the EIP.
Dyer adds 100% of the costs will go towards the classroom and until the funding comes in around March, the money will be taken from the general fund. The remaining costs leftover after receiving money from the state will be supplemented using the general fund.
Dyer says school officials including interim superintendent Dr. David Mosely met with elementary school principals on Friday morning to address how many teachers each school would need before the recommendation was taken to the Instructional Accountability Committee that afternoon.
One of the questions raised by members surrounded how the system would find so many teachers in a short amount of time. Dyer says the team is currently searching for teachers who are certified in elementary education who are strongest in reading and math.
Until all of the full-time positions are filled, officials say they can employ retired teachers as part-time employees.
Depending on each school's need, the teacher will either work alongside a regular teacher, pull the students from the room for periods throughout the day or will have their own classroom with a low number of students so each can receive the attention needed.
The committee voted to bring the proposal to the finance committee first for their approval before it's presented to the school board on September 27th.
If approved by the board, school officials would begin immediately filling the positions and say the move will help target struggling students at a younger age so they have a higher rate of success as they get older.