A controversial bill giving Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker the power to make major decisions about how the school district is run has residents pretty upset. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins met with community organizers Friday.
A group called Citizens for an Elected Board launched a petition drive to fight the Prince George’s County Public Schools takeover at a community meeting Thursday night.
The group needs 8,000 signatures by the end of the month to delay the new law from taking effect June 1.
The law allows County Executive Rushern Baker to appoint a superintendent instead of having elected school board members choose the leader. It also allows Baker to appoint three additional board members with the county council appointing a fourth.
Voters could get the final say in a referendum in 2014 if the group gets 25,000 signatures by the end of June.
“We will be at graduations,” David L. Cahn said. “We will be wherever we have to be to get enough signatures.”
Baker said he’s surprised by the push for a referendum and plans to continue his work to transition the governance of the school system.
“Clearly, I think that now that we’ve gotten through the legislative process, it’s about getting together and picking the best superintendent, integrating new board members with existing ones, and we’ve already started moving forward with that,” he said.