ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is calling on Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker to fire Prince George's County Public Schools CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell.
It comes after a scathing state audit that uncovered widespread grade changing that violated the district's own policies as well as students graduating without meeting requirements.
Following the audit, FOX 5 uncovered that the school district had done its own internal audit in 2016 that determined the district wasn't following state policies and students were graduating who shouldn't have been. It wasn't made public until last month.
The governor said Maxwell and Baker have not taken the state audit results seriously and downplayed them to sloppy recordkeeping instead of a wider systemic problem.
Hogan also mentioned that Maxwell recently refused to show up at a hearing with Prince George's County lawmakers in Annapolis.
"Enough is enough," said Gov. Hogan. "You know the law was changed in Prince George's County. Instead of having a superintendent report to a duly-elected school board, they change the law so he was not accountable to anybody but the county executive who said the buck stops with him - that he is responsible. He hired this person. In my opinion, this should have happened a long time ago, but I will say today the county executive needs to fire Kevin Maxwell."
In response, Baker called Hogan's stance "political." Baker is regarded as the Democratic front-runner to oppose Hogan in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Baker said if Hogan was truly concerned about Prince George's County Public Schools, he should meet Dr. Maxwell in person and help the school district work through challenges.
"First of all, if the governor wants to help Prince George's County, what he could start doing is giving us the resources we asked for from the beginning of his administration," said Baker. "That would help our schools. He might want to visit a school in Prince George's County. No, Kevin Maxwell should not be fired. The governor knows that. If he believed that, he would actually have his state's school board start doing something. That is where he has authority."
The Maryland State Board of Education does have authority to remove a superintendent if transgressions are egregious. No one on the board has spoken publicly about that being a possibility under consideration.
Some are looking for another way to bring change, specifically through a proposal by state lawmakers to change the law that gives the Prince George's County Executive so much control over schools and revert back to an all-elected school board that hires and fires the head of schools.
On Tuesday, the board decided it will install a full-time employee in Prince George's County Public Schools to monitor the school system and require another audit.
FOX 5's coverage on the Prince George's County grade-fixing investigation: