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Prince George's Rushern Baker Seeks More Control Over Public Schools

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Prince George's County Rushern Baker wants more control over the county's schools.
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Prince George's County Rushern Baker wants more control over the county's schools.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker wants more control over the county's schools, reports the Associated Press.

Baker is seeking state legislation that would put him in charge of the superintendent's office and the school system's $1.7 billion budget while reducing the power of the Board of Education.

The school system has had five superintendents in the past 10 years, and the state's second-largest school system has ranked near the bottom statewide. Prince George's County has 123,000 students in its public school system.

Baker says he believes county residents should have someone to hold accountable for the performance of county schools, which he says are critical to drawing new residents to the county and promoting economic development.

"It really is holding a person accountable who everybody right now thinks is accountable for education in Prince George's County," says Baker. "And that's the county executive, with the legislative oversight of the county council."

Should Baker's plan meet approval in Annapolis, the county executive would gain control of school system operations, the schools superintendent would become a member of his cabinet. The County Council would confirm Baker's choice for schools chief and have oversight of the schools budget.

The Prince George's County Board Of Education will give the public a chance to meet the three finalists for Superintendent tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. in the Sasscer Administration Building.

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