Some school board members and parents are calling for Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell to resign following a federal investigation into the county's Head Start program.
The complaints center around two issues: Who knew what during a federal investigation into allegations of abuse in the Head Start program and emails that surfaced this week showing Maxwell’s chief of staff, George Margolies, essentially arguing with board members about public agenda items.
“We had employees not complying with the federal investigation. Was anyone suspended or terminated at that point in time,” Board member Edward Burroughs III asked Maxwell during an intense board meeting Thursday.
“I’m not going to continue to answer the same questions over and over again," Maxwell said. "I’ve said that publicly, I’ve said it here, I’ve said it in my opening remarks.”
In August, the county lost a $6.5 million federal Head Start grant after complaints of abuse and poor teacher training surfaced during an investigation. According to the report, one teacher forced a 3-year-old boy to mop up his own urine and children at another school were made to hold objects over their head for an extended period of time as a punishment for their behavior.
“What we have here is a CEO who does not have control over his organization and does not have the capacity to understand, who’s doing what when,” Board member Zabrina Epps said.
Board members are also calling for Board Chairman Segun Eubanks and Vice Chair Carolyn Boston to step down.
Maxwell announced Thursday he asked the Maryland State Department of Education to audit the county's head start program and the incidents that led to the loss of the grant.
On Wednesday, Maxwell asked his chief of staff to step down Wednesday after the emails surfaced showing Margolies arguing with a school board member to keep Head Start issues off the board's agenda, sources said.
In a leaked email, Margolies described the back and forth with the board's vice chair by saying, "I have scars on my back from yesterday to prove it."
Maryland State Sen. Anthony Muse also called for Maxwell to step down. He said he also wants to change the county's school board back to a fully elected board.
Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker fought to appoint the school CEO and some members of the school board, including the chair and vice chair. Now, the board is a hybrid of elected and appointed members.
Baker has released a statement that he is not calling for Maxwell's resignation.