Revamped Board of Education Bill Passes (Demo)

Dr. Eric Becoats, one of the candidates for Superintendent, has chunked us the deuces and said, “PEACE” because he has officially dropped OUT of the running.   I guess that was a very soulful way of starting this post. Even with a gutted out piece of legislation like S. 1071, the County Executive will still be the one appointing the Superintendent, and I’m sure County Executive Baker has someone in mind for the position and it WON’T be anyone the Board of Education aka the school board has deemed qualified.   He did it just in time because “Prince George’s County Senators have approved a measure that would allow County Executive Rushern Baker to select the county’s new schools superintendent and choose the chairman and vice chairman of an expanded Board of Education,” WJLA reported.

Baker (r), Darren Swain (l)
Baker (r), Darren Swain (l)

According to the legislation, the School Board maintains control of the budget but how much control is it when the head and vice of the school board will be appointed by the County Executive and two other positions will be appointments by the County Council?  Please read the legislation for yourself HERE.  Some of the legislation reads as thus: FOR the purpose of revising the composition of the Prince George’s County Board of 4 Education; providing for the appointment of certain members of the county 5 board by the County Executive of Prince George’s County and the Prince 6 George’s County Council…requiring the County Executive to appoint the county superintendent in a certain manner; requiring the county superintendent to serve in the cabinet of the County Executive and at the pleasure of the County Executive.  
PG-Politics listed (below) some politicians to watch for possible conflicts of interest.  Keep an eye on these people as we go forward, and I do know we have to go forward.
Del. Jolene Ivey (D-47) is the delegate who has been most often quoted as a strong supported of the Baker plan. According to her official biography on the Maryland General Assembly website, Ivey has been “Director, Media Relations, Community Teachers Institute” since 2004. Baker was Executive Director of the Community Teacher’s Institute for a number of years before taking office as County Executive in 2010. Shortly before Baker’s election there were press reports that the institute was the subject of a state investigation. In September 2012 “The Real Prince George’s” blog reported that Ivey “has a strong relationship with County Executive Rushern Baker.” An extensive search has not turned up any news or reports of her employment by Baker. Has Ivey’s support for the Baker plan been influenced by that employment relationship?
Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-25) has been quoted in the press as a supporter of the Baker plan and prepared an amendment to bill HB 1107 that would, if adopted, give Baker the authority he seeks. According to his official biography, Davis has been “Deputy Director, Prince George’s County Office of Community Relations” since 2011. That means he was appointed to that position by Baker or one of Baker’s subordinates.  On the Maryland General Assembly website page for Prince George’s County, Davis and his position are listed under the county’s Chief of Staff, along with other officials responsible for communications and outreach. Has Davis’ support for the Baker plan been based on or influenced by his employment as a communicator for the Baker administration?
Del. James W. Hubbard (D-23A) apparently has not been quoted in the press. He did support Baker’s 2002 intervention in school governance. According to his official biography, Hubbard has been “Executive Assistant to Deputy Director, Dept. of Corrections, Prince George’s County” since 2003. SO, while he is a county employee under Baker, he has held that position since long before Baker took office, his position is far removed from Baker’s immediate supervision, and he is not directly involved in either education or communicating Baker’s policies to the public.
 Del. Carolyn J. B. Howard (D-24) apparently has not been quoted in the press.  She did not support Baker’s 2002 intervention in school governance. According to her official biography, Howard has been “Director, Department of Federal Programs, Prince George’s County Public Schools” since 2000. She works in the school system, ultimately under the supervision of the superintendent and school board, so her employment could be affected by the outcome of pending legislation to effect Baker’s plan.

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