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      School board discusses their concerns over financial decisions

      The Dougherty County Board of Education met on Monday evening to discuss and vote on a list of items, including some financial topics they didn't agree on.

      With 1/3 of the cameras on the Dougherty County School System's buses not working, the school board unanimously voted to upgrade 40 of their fleet with working DVR TMs.They say the $67,600 purchase is necessary for stopping incidents on the bus.

      "It assists us when we get a call from the school or parents or ourselves that if we have an incident, then we can investigate it quickly and resolve the issue, said DCSS transportation director Kenneth Williams.

      However, not all decisions up for a vote on the agenda went smoothly. Some members voted against approving the money budgeted for the school improvement grant, which was sent to the state for approval before the board voted on it.

      "I'm not interested in continuing to vote for budgets in which we're doing in a retrospect. Some of this money's already been spent and now we're coming to the board and we're passing a budget on funds that have already been spent and I'm not excited about it, said board member Darrell Ealum.

      Ultimately the board voted to approve the budget but say they'll work on communicating between departments to avoid future incidents. Other members also expressed concerns over how to handle a request from Albany State University to end a contract early renting the early college center.

      "We want to be accommodating and responsible citizens and remain with a good relationship with Albany State and Dr. Freeman so we're at the stage now that we've just got to sit down and talk some more, but I don't think we're going anywhere anytime soon, said DCSS interim superintendent Dr. David C. Mosely.

      The board says they'll have to go back and discuss how to handle the situation to keep a good partnership with the college, whose options include riding out the contract set to end in 2015 with an option to renew until 2017 or walk away from it and request some of the money back.