Residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland, shared their thoughts Wednesday on the kind of board they want to lead the county’s public school system.
The Board of Education Task Force, a panel formed to study restructuring the school board, hosted its second public listening session. Most of the residents who commented said they support the task force’s preliminary recommendation that the board abandon its current structure of nine elected and four appointed members in favor of an all-elected board.
“Democracy is always a little messy, but that’s OK, it’s still the best system that we have,” said an Upper Marlboro resident.
Another resident, Amity Pope, echoed similar sentiments.
“Stand firm in not disenfranchising the voters of Prince George’s County. A recommendation for a fully-elected school board is a vote for democracy,” Pope said.
While other public participants supported the idea of making the school board all-elected, some also offered the task force additional advice on improving its governance, thereby improving public schools.
“There needs to be some type of training so that they are properly trained and understand how things operate in a board structure … training in fiscal oversight, nonprofit management and governing skills,” said resident Tanya Wingfield.
One commenter suggested wholesale changes are needed at Prince George’s County Public Schools.
“We need to transform teachers’ pay. We need to transform curriculum for students. We need to transform those who are charged with leading our children,” said Dannine Johnson.
The task force is expected to finalize its recommendations next month.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of a name.