Task Force Recommends Sweeping Reforms to Prince George’s School Board

A task force assigned with exploring potential reforms to the structure of the Prince George’s County Board of Education has released a series of recommendations.

The Prince George’s County Board of Education Task Force was formed to “study and review the duties, responsibilities, powers, and composition of the Prince George’s County Board of Education.” It is comprised of “a cross-section of Prince George’s County, including members of the community, Prince George’s County Schools, and individuals with expertise, specialties, and relevant backgrounds who can provide insightful and useful input.” Under its responsibilities, the task force had to submit written recommendations by January 14, 2022.

Most notable of the recommendations is to no longer appoint members to the board and instead structure it with only elected members. Under this model, the board would consist of nine elected members and one student member elected by peers. Currently, the Prince George’s County School Board consists of nine elected and four appointed members, as well as a student member who has partial voting rights.

Other task force recommendations:

  • Limiting board membership to two four-year terms;
  • Empowering the board to elect its own chair and vice-chair (they are currently appointed by the county executive;
  • Increasing school board salaries from the current $18,000 per year to $27,000;
  • Increasing the board chair’s salary, from $19,000 to $32,000 annually;
  • Requiring board members attend educational conferences and engage in professional development; and
  • Requiring members engage in “self-evaluation” and “accountability.”

“While we will report out some potential, preliminary recommendations, they are up for adjustments or revision or refinement,” noted task force chair and Bowie State University professor Sean T. Coleman. “As well as everything else that is on the chopping block or discussion block.”

The task force’s recommendations will be considered during a public hearing on January 19.

Learn more about the task force and access prior meeting videos.