Saying that the ongoing drama on the school board is hurting kids, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is reiterating her call for School Board Chair Juanita Miller to step down.
Miller, who was appointed by Alsobrooks in 2021, has refused to step down from her role as chair despite Alsobrooks’ request, and despite an investigation recently launched by the state Board of Education.
In May, the Maryland Board of Education charged Miller with incompetency, willful neglect of duty and misconduct in office. A letter sent to Miller states that, in her role as chair, she had ethics complaints from board members and illegally procured services without the board’s approval.
Alsobrooks has no authority to fire the board chair. But, when asked about Miller at an event on Tuesday, she refused to blame her for all the problems plaguing the school board.
“We’ve had a problem with this board now for a decade,” said Alsobrooks. “This board has been dysfunctional for quite some time. We know that this board did not start with Dr. Miller, but I was (sent) here to fix the problem.
“The acrimony has been there no matter the structure, whether it’s been all elected, all appointed or the hybrid. We’ve watched this movie play out for the last 12, 15 years,” said Alsobrooks.
Alsobrooks says the fighting and disarray that currently dominate the school board’s meetings are hurting kids more than they’re helping.
“Anyone in education who is not discussing children, their futures, their families … are in the wrong discussion,” said Alsobrooks.
“I’m sick of talking about adults. I don’t want to talk about adults anymore,” she added.
If Miller chooses to disregard calls for her to step down, the choice may not be hers for much longer.
A new law passed earlier this year transitions the school board out of the current setup, with the current board members allowed to pick their own chair starting this December, and it’s unlikely Miller would be chosen to stay on as leader. In 2024, the board returns to its all-elected membership.
“School will be ending soon,” said Alsobrooks. “I think it’s the perfect time for us to move in a new direction”
In response to an email from WTOP seeking her response to Alsobrooks’ comments, Miller said in an email reply, she had “no comment.”