The Dougherty County Board of Education met behind closed doors to discuss the future of school superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree yesterday. The move, described by officials as “not an unusual event”, it comes after a rocky road since Murfree’s controversial hiring back in 2010.
School system attorney Tommy Coleman said that the move is normal in advance of a contract expiring as Murfree’s is set to do in June of next year. He also stated that no decision is made.
Murfree’s tenure has been marked by scandal after scandal, including Murfree’s reported attempt to stymie the CRCT investigation and alleged misuse of Title I funds. In addition, some observers have linked Murfree’s tenure to the defeat of Anita Williams-Brown in the board of education primary.
In addition, Murfree’s hiring was possibly the most controversial hiring in the history of the Albany area as earlier ranks of candidates had him listed as number 34. His hiring was announced without the public being informed of the three finalists. Public pressure forced the issue, only to reveal vastly more experience in the other two finalists, yet Murfree was hired anyways.
Also, the system as recieved numerous letters from state and federal officials requesting information about Title I funds, grants and the free and reduced lunch program. The most recent letter, coming from the state school superintendent sent October 2nd, requesting financial records.
There is no deadline for the board to make a decision, but state code says that they can begin the process of hiring a replacement a year before Murfree’s contract expires.