Prince George’s County Public Schools board members are objecting to large pay raises several members of the executive cabinet received.
Board members asked for a 4 percent raise for teachers several months ago and were denied. In a letter dated Wednesday, members showed that some executives got raises of as much as 36 percent.
Edward Burroughs, Raaheela Ahmed and David Murray sent a letter to County Executive Rushern Baker criticizing PGCPS CEO Kevin Maxwell for authorizing "excessive increases in salaries for employees in his executive cabinet."
"No one has been held accountable for these unauthorized and disheartening pay increases," they wrote.
The Chief Strategic and External Affairs’ salary jumped from $138,278 in July 2015 to $188,058 in January 2017. That raise, of 36 percent, was the largest increase cited.
Another salary rose by 22 percent in three months.
“To me, it feels like the Maxwell administration cares about themselves and the executives more than our teachers and support staff,” Burroughs said.
Maxwell defended the pay raises.
"Current salaries for the identified positions are on par with large urban school systems and historically lower than neighboring jurisdictions," Maxwell said in a statement.
The board members requested a ban on all executive cabinet hiring and salary increases in the letter, plus the reverse of a law giving Maxwell the ability to hire unlimited executive staff and set their salaries.
Baker said he’s leaving this complaint up to the CEO and the school board.
“He certainly has the authority to hire and fire and raise people’s salaries, as long as he’s doing it within the confines of the law,” he said.
In March, the three board members alerted Baker that some employees received significant pay raises in a letter.
Last month, teachers and school board members criticized the district for giving human resources employees raises of 10 to 12 percent, as News4 reported.
The news prompted teacher protests and calls for a teacher "sick-out."
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called for Maxwell's dismissal last month. Multiple scandals have made headlines under Maxwell's leadership, including regarding system-wide grade tampering.