The Washington Post

Four Prince George’s board members will hold bachelor’s degrees on incoming board

For those keeping count, it’s time for an update on the number of college graduates who will serve on the Prince George’s County Board of Education next year.

Based on election results, four of nine members on the board will hold a bachelor’s degree. Two of the board’s eight current members hold a bachelor’s degree (the current board has one vacancy).

The county will still have fewer college graduates on its board than any other school system in the Washington region.

The county’s rate went from 25 percent to 44 percent, which pales in comparison to other boards in large districts throughout the region and across the United States, according to national school board data and a Washington Post survey of all Washington area jurisdictions.

Every member of the current boards in the District and in Montgomery, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties has at least a bachelor’s degree. Eight of nine members of Alexandria’s board have a college degree. Excluding Prince George’s, 58 of 59 current board members in the Washington area have graduated from college.

Board Chairman Verjeana Jacobs, an attorney, defeated Raaheela Ahmed, a college student at the University of Maryland at College Park, in a closely watched race for the District 5 seat. Ahmed toppled Jacobs in the primary but the incumbent came back in the general election to win by about five percentage points.

Jacobs and Peggy Higgins (District 2), the board’s vice chair, are the two members who hold a bachelor’s degree on the current Prince George’s County school board.

They will now be joined by Carletta Fellows and Zabrina Epps.

Fellows captured the District 7 seat by defeating Henry Armwood, who was seeking his second term on the board. Fellows has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University.

Epps, an academic adviser and adjunct communications instructor at a community college in Baltimore County, beat David Murray, a student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, in a close race. On election night, Murray trailed by less than 1 percent of the vote, making the race too close to call. Last week, after absentee and provisional ballots were counted, the race was decided with Epps taking nearly 400 more votes than Murray.

Epps received a master’s degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Ovetta Wiggins covers Maryland state politics in Annapolis.



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