Md. State Board of Education moves forward with process that could remove chair of Prince George’s County Board

The Prince George’s County Public Schools headquarters in Upper Marlboro. (Danielle E. Gaines/Maryland Matters)

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The Maryland State Board of Education voted this week to issue a notice of charges against the head of the Prince George’s County Board of Education, whose colleagues have sought to remove her from office.

The state board’s decision to move forward on the complaint comes after members of the county school board, along with some county residents, filed a petition to remove Board Chair Juanita D. Miller in January, after tensions on the board reached a high.

A copy of the notice of charges was not immediately available. The state board voted on the issue at a closed session meeting on Tuesday, but microphones in the board room weren’t working when the decision was announced publicly.

Miller did not immediately respond to phone messages left on Friday.

She will have the opportunity to request a hearing before an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings, a State Department of Education spokeswoman said.

The petition was re-filed in January after an earlier effort was dismissed for technical flaws.

The standard for removing school board members is high, requiring petitions to prove misconduct in office, immorality, incompetence, willful neglect of duty, or failure to attend meetings.

Progressive members elected to the school board and Miller, who was appointed to her position by County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D), have repeatedly clashed during Miller’s tenure.

Board members said Miller had a continual pattern of making unilateral decisions on behalf of the board and that her behavior interfered with the board’s ability to function, among other concerns detailed in the petition.

“Essentially the board was completely dysfunctional under her leadership,” former PGCPS Board member and current Prince George’s County Councilmember Edward Burroughs, who was part of the petition effort, told WTOP.

Miller was appointed as the board’s chair by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks in January 2021.

The current hybrid board — with nine elected and four appointed members, with one student — was fashioned by the General Assembly in 2013 and will be reformed over the next couple of years.

During the legislative session that ended in April, lawmakers passed a bill that will remove the four appointed members of the board in July 2024. Starting this December, board members will choose their own chair and vice-chair, who had been appointed by the county executive.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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