Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks has joined the numerous local and state officials and residents pushing County Executive Rushern L. Baker III to ask for school system CEO Kevin Maxwell’s resignation.
Alsobrooks, one of nine Democratic candidates seeking Baker’s position, said in a statement Thursday that though she and Baker have worked well together during his two-term tenure, “this is one issue that we disagree on.”
“I believe [removing Maxwell] must be done so we can get back to talking about the sacred obligation we have to educate our children and restore dignity and pride in our school system,” Alsobrooks said.
Former Rep. Donna Edwards, who’s also running for the executive seat, called Alsobrooks’ decision “politically safe.”
“It’s time for transparency and accountability, but we also need to have proven, fearless leadership in place to get the job done,” Edwards said in a statement. “I know I’m ready for the job. The question for voters: is Angela ready?”
Another county executive candidate, state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-District 26) of Accokeek, demanded Baker remove Maxwell about two years ago. He presented legislation in this year’s Maryland General Assembly to revert the current hybrid school board setup to an all-elected board and allow board members to choose the schools chief, but the legislation never made it to the floor for a vote.
The mounting criticism of Maxwell come amid several scandals in the past two years, including a federal agency stripping away a more than $6 million Head Start grant, a former school aide’s conviction of child sex abuse, unauthorized pay raises to senior-level staffers and rampant grade inflation and absenteeism among the past two senior classes.
The latest scandal, according to various reports, stem from a camera found inside an administrator office. Police continue to investigate the situation.
Baker’s spokesman Scott Peterson said the winner of the county executive race “will eventually have the opportunity to decide who they would like to be the next” leader in the school system, thanks to the reforms Baker help implement to have more control over the system.
“Baker does not believe the best course of action on behalf of the students and teachers is to throw PGCPS leadership into disarray for the next eight months just for political expediency,” Peterson said.