The House of Delegates has given final approval to a bill giving Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker more control over the county's school system.
The House voted 81-45 on Saturday to agree with changes made by the Senate to the bill. That sends it to Gov. Martin O'Malley. The Senate approved the plan Thursday night.
Under the legislation, which goes into effect June 1, Baker will hear recommendations from a three-member search committee appointed by the Governor to choose three finalists for the position of superintendent, who will be referred to as the CEO of Prince George's County Public Schools. Baker also will be able to select the chairman and vice chairman and make three other appointments to an expanded Board of Education.
"While my original proposal was amended, I support this legislation and thank the members of the Prince Georges County House and Senate delegations for their hard work and diligence as they worked on this pivotal issue," Baker said in a statement. "Now our task is to identify the CEO who will provide the roadmap for building a top-notch school system that provides our children with a great education. This legislation creates an environment where the new CEO can be successful, and it is imperative that our new school leader has the support of our County leadership."
Baker had asked for control of the school system's $1.7 billion budget, but that was taken out of the proposal by the Senate. The General Assembly weakened the bill to ease concerns it would set a precedent for other counties.