Baker says ‘there is one government’ since Pr. George’s school system restructuring


Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III visits students at Bladensburg Elementary School on Aug. 19, 2013, in Bladensburg, Md. (Amanda Voisard for The Washington Post)

When Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III sought to take over the school system, he said the effort would allow the government to coordinate resources with the school district.

During a recent interview about hitting the one-year mark since the restructuring of the school system took effect, Baker said there is “no confusion that there is one government.”

Schools Chief Kevin M. Maxwell attends Baker’s Cabinet meetings, Baker said, and is in direct contact with the heads of the county’s police, health and social services departments.

“We have social workers working with the schools,” Baker said. “We’re trying to coordinate with the school system on transportation issues. . . . You’ll see more of that, even with procurement.”

About 18 months ago, when Baker sent an aide to discuss his Transforming Neighborhood Initiative with the school board, several members questioned whether Baker was overstepping his authority.

“They took it as infringing on their territory,” Baker said. “That’s gone now.”

Ovetta Wiggins writes about K-12 education.
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