Dougherty school board looks into Title I letter
During a special called board meeting, the Dougherty County Board of Education moved into executive session to discuss the process of hiring an interim superintendent.
Last week the board and current superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree agreed to release him of his duties beginning on December 18th.
Dougherty County School System Attorney Tommy Coleman says the board has not discussed specific names and has only gone over the process of how they will select a replacement.
After coming out of executive session, the board then discussed a letter received last week from the Georgia Department of Education requesting the repayment of some Title I funds they believe were misused in 2011.
The board already received a letter demanding the repayment of roughly $134,000 from the 2012 school year earlier this year. Dr. Murfree hand-delivered a check repaying those funds but the GaDOE was already delving deeper into last year's finances.
The department found a questionable $167,000 of funds they believe weren't used correctly in the 2011 fiscal year and are asking for them to be repaid. DCSS Executive Director of Finances Kenneth Dyer says board can decide to agree with the decision and make the payment in full from general funds or try to appeal some or all of the sections.
During the meeting, the board made a motion to approve a repayment to the state up to the $167,000 in full in case they choose not to appeal.
Board member Darrel Ealum says principals across the school system are currently reviewing all school finances to justify their use. If they cannot justify the money's use, they will be responsible to authorize the repayment.
The board has until November 30th to make a move and Ealum says they approved a possible repayment early so they wouldn't get into a last-minute decision.
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