School officials consider closing doors while opening another

Dougherty County School Board meeting / Jessica Fairley

For months, the Dougherty County School System has been considering the possible closure of one or more schools but in Monday night's meeting the board made a decision that could open a new school.

Dougherty County School Board new comer Robert Youngblood has proposed starting a charter school to serve the Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base.

"We have perception out there and that's evident by the base working out an arrangement with the Lee County schools and the Worth County schools for their young people to go to school there, that there is a need," said Robert Youngblood.

Youngblood says the Dougherty County School System may be able to meet that need of marine parents while bringing more funds into the district.

"It would be predicated on the possibility of gaining FTEs. You're also talking about the federal impact funds of students that live on base," said Youngblood.

He says the school could also appeal to home school students and students in surrounding counties.

While the board voted to form a committee to explore the possibility of opening a charter school, two board members abstained. DCSS School Board Member Darrel Ealum says he spent a year rallying to bring a charter school to Albany.

"I'm not sure the board has really analyzed how difficult it is to go out here and just get the planning off the ground. So what I would have liked to have done really is to have waited and had some planning sessions and discussion sessions and maybe taken a vote in the next couple weeks," said Ealum.

Now that the board has voted to start a study, they say the next move is working with Albany MCLB education officials to see if opening another school is feasible.

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