UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - In the Maryland General Assembly’s final hours, lawmakers passed a bill requiring a return to an all-elected school board in Prince George’s County.
It comes after years of infighting and feuds between elected and appointed members of the board.
In 2013, lawmakers passed a bill that transformed the board into a hybrid model, a rarity in Maryland. It means nine members are elected, one is appointed by the county council and three are appointed by the county executive.
For years, there have been calls to return to an all-elected structure, and late Monday, state lawmakers signed off on a bill that will do that by 2024.
In the meantime, the bill allows the board to select their own chair and vice-chair by December, positions now selected by the county executive.
FOX 5 has been covering the infighting on the board for years, including when feuding turned physical in 2018. Elected board member Edward Burroughs accused appointed Board Chair Segun Eubanks of assaulting him following a meeting.
"I went to the back room, he pushed me against the bookcase and told me he was going to blank me up," Burroughs told FOX 5’s Lindsay Watts that night.
Eubanks was charged with assault, but the charge was later dropped.
It’s an extreme example of the persistent tension on the board, with more liberal, elected members siding together, at times in opposition to the appointed faction of the board.
Last year, elected board members petitioned the state to remove Board Chair Dr. Juanita Miller. It was after she made serious allegations about them, and shut down board meetings while demanding an investigation.
There have also been concerns about the potential influence of the county executive on handpicked board members.
FOX 5’s Lindsay Watts spoke to a woman who says when she interviewed to be an appointed board member she was told she may get a call from the county executive before important decisions.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks supported the bill to return to an all-elected board.
The bill also creates a committee to study the workings of the school board.