Crawley plans to stay in Prince George’s

Prince George’s County School Board Chairman Verjeana Jacobs (District 5) said Friday that Alvin Crawley, the county’s interim school superintendent, has agreed to stay in his position until school reopens in August.

Crawley did not return repeated calls for comment on Friday.

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said Thursday that he planned to ask Crawley, who has served since September, to rescind his resignation. His original contract was scheduled to end on June 30, but Crawley submitted his resignation last month and was scheduled to leave on June 3.

Some worried that Crawley’s decision would create additional uncertainty for the school system, which has had rapid turnover. The decision came after the General Assembly approved legislation that gives Baker the power to select the new schools chief, appoint three school board members and name the board chairman and vice chair.

Crawley has served as interim superintendent since September, replacing William R. Hite Jr., who left to take the top job in Philadelphia. Crawley became the school system’s seventh schools chief in 14 years.

Jacobs said during a “unity” breakfast hosted by Baker that the board knows changes are coming, and “we are doing what we need to do to make the shifts.”

Jacobs used the breakfast to provide those in attendance with information about successes in the system: 235 of the 250 graduates at Largo High School are headed to college; Central High School seniors received $2.9 million in scholarships, and Oxon Hill High School seniors received $4.6 million.

“At the end of the day, if adults fail, kids fail,” Jacobs said. “It is our obligation.”

Christian Rhodes, Baker’s education liaison, said Baker has been meeting with members of the school board, union leaders and employees.

He said a committee has been selected that will review the 160 applications for the three new appointed spots on the school board. M.H. Jim Estepp, president of the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable and a member of Baker’s education commission, will serve as chair.

Baker told the group that he apologized for the timing of his legislation to take over the school system. But he did not apologize for doing it.

“Whether you are for what we did or not, we are all tied to it now,” he said.

Ovetta Wiggins writes about K-12 education.
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