Md. House passes partial takeover of troubled Prince George's schools

April 06, 2013|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

The House of Delegates passed a bill Saturday that would give the Prince George's County executive an unprecedented responsibility for the county's troubled school system.

The legislation, approved after the House agreed to the Senate's rewrite of the original bill, now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley.       

The bill, sought by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, would  let Baker choose the school system's next chief executive officer,  as the superintendent is called.  The county executive would also name the chair and vice chair of an expanded  school board made up of both elected and appointed members.  Currently the nine non-student members are all elected.       

Opponents warned the partial takeover would set a precedent that could be followed by other county governments.  But Senate President  Thomas V. Mike Miller, who represents part of the county, and the county House and Senate delegations supported Baker.

Miller credited Baker for his willingness to accept increased responsibility for the school system,  which has some of the lowest test scores in the state.


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