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'Most of us think of dysfunction when we think of the Board of Education' | Taskforce recommends changes for Prince George's Co. leadership

During a meeting on Wednesday, the task force approved a number of proposed changes, including getting rid of appointed positions on the board.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — A special task force chosen by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks put in final recommendations on Wednesday to overhaul to the makeup of the Board of Education by doing away with the four appointed positions of the group.

During the task force's final meeting, members approved various changes that were first brought up weeks ago.

Among the recommendations passed on Wednesday:

  • The board should consist of nine elected members and one student member
  • Board members should be elected from single-member districts
  • The board should elect their own Chair and Vice-Chair and they should each serve one-year terms
  • School board members' compensation shall be increased to $27,000 and adjusted every four years by the calculated regional cost of living adjustments. School board chair compensation shall be $32,000 and adjusted accordingly.
  • Board members should be limited to two terms

"We looked at best practices locally, across the field and we listened to the public," said task force chairman Sean Coleman at the end of Wednesday's meeting. 

Approval of the recommendations is now in the hands of County Executive Alsobrooks, who will then present the possible changes to the Maryland legislature.

The formation of the task force and its recommendations came after a chaotic year that included an attempt by elected board members to oust the appointed chairman by complaining to state authorities, allegations that the ethics complaint system was being weaponized to suppress dissent, the abrupt cancellation of meetings by the chair and the resignation of attorneys hired to advise board members.

"Frankly, I think most of us think of dysfunction when we think of the Board of Education," said parent Patrick Paschall, whose two children attend Hyattsville Elementary School. 

Paschall said he approved of the recommendations but hoped the board would continue to undergo changes in the months ahead. 

"Democracy is good. I think that we should have elected officials who represent us," he said. "I don’t think that’s going to solve our issues if we don’t have ethics reform. We are going to need accountability among these elected officials.”

RELATED: Leaders urged to jettison current school board system in Prince George's County

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