Prince George's County Executive's Power to Pick School Leadership Questioned

Maryland’s governor said he opposes state legislation giving the Prince George’s County executive power to appoint school leadership.

Gov. Larry Hogan visited a public school in the county Thursday where some students showed him what they’re learning about finances.

“It's the only place in the entire state where the superintendent of schools is hired by and reports directly to the county executive rather than to members of the board of education,” Hogan said.

In an exclusive interview with News4 earlier this week, Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell said he’ll leave the job at the end of the school year.

School board member Edward Burroughs, a vocal critic of Maxwell, said he believes the county executive’s power to appoint school leadership negatively impacted Maxwell's tenure.

“Checks and balances only make us better, and when you destroy all checks and balances, get rid of all accountability, no one is ever at their best,” he said.

Teacher union president Theresa Dudley said her membership also opposes the current governance structure and hopes stakeholders will have a say.

“We need to make sure the community is involved in this process,” she said.

County Executive Rushern Baker, who helped create the process that will select the next leader of schools is running for governor and he's appointing an interim schools CEO, leaving the permanent replacement to the next county executive.

“I hope that the next person coming in — superintendent and the next county executive — will stick by the person that they select there,” he said.

Maxwell said he will help his successor transition.

“We have to decide, collaboratively, what that transition looks like,” he said. “I mean, you can't just walk out of the door and leave the system leaderless.”

Conversations have already begun about what the search process is going to look like for the next CEO but dates or times have not been made public as of yet.

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