Murfree to lay out future budget for Dougherty Schools

Dougherty County School Board meets to discuss the future of the budget. / Ashley Knight

Dougherty County School Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree says he will present a three-year plan of reductions and closings to the Finance Committee next Tuesday.

Grappling with a $9.6 million budget shortfall, cuts have to be drastic, but the process shouldn't be.

"Tuesday, when I bring this to the finance committee, we'll have numbers associated with it, based upon year, any cuts that we're proposing. So they can actually say as a finance committee, that we agree to that," says Dr. Murfree.

The board also discussed the possibility of using 49% positions, meaning they would bring in retired teachers, to whom the system would not have to pay benefits.

School Board member Carol Tharin would also like to see as part of the plan repurposing some of the school's properties, which may or may not include Magnolia Elementary.

"They're costly to maintain and to operate. We have extra room in different schools where we could possibly move different departments and save on utilities cost and maintenance cost," says Tharin.

There was also discussion of the CRCT investigation. School System Attorney Tommy Coleman says the trial will cost a lot of money that will come out of the general fund. There was talk of asking for a grant from the governor's office to help defray the costs.