The Prince George’s County Board of Education has created six committees to help carry out the work of the school board.
The formation of the new committees comes more than a year after the board was overhauled. The reconfigured board, which was a fully-elected body changed to a hybrid board with several appointed members, had a rough transition after County Executive Rushern Baker III pushed for a school takeover.
Elected members said they were marginalized by the new leadership, while appointed members were trying to adjust to the demands of the job. The board, in turn, hired a corporate foundation to help smooth the transition.
“I think we’ve made some great progress,” Board Chairman Segun Eubanks said.
A committee structure is not new to the Prince George’s school board. But, most recently, the board has used a “committee of the whole” structure, which allows all board members to participate on committees.
Eubanks decided to go back to the committee structure to give board members the time to focus on specific topics.
“We have a relatively big workload in front of us,” Eubanks said. “With a board this large, I think it’s important to structure our work efficiently.”
The six committees are: Academic Achievement, Chief Executive Officer and Board Evaluation, Finance, Audit and Budget, Parent and Community Engagement, Policy, Legal and Legislative and Board Development and Governance.
A mix of appointed and elected members will head the committees. Every committee will have five members except the Parent and Community Engagement committee, which will have up to seven members, Eubanks said. The meetings will be public and likely held monthly.
Board members Sonya Williams (District 9) and Zabrina Epps (District 1) will lead the committee on academic achievement, while Eubanks and Vice Chairman Carolyn Boston (District 6) will chair the committee on evaluations.
Appointed board members Beverly Anderson and Daniel Kaufman will head the budget committee, and Board members Curtis Valentine (appointed) and Amber Waller (District 3) will lead the parent and community engagement committee.
Board members Edward Burroughs (District 8) and Verjeana Jacobs (District 5) will steer the policy, legal and legislative committee, while Boston and Board member Lyn Mundey (District 7) will head the board development committee.
“I think this is going to be a critically important year because last year was a year of transition, folks understanding each other, getting used to each other,” Eubanks said. “This year, with a full year with everyone in place and with [Schools Chief Kevin] Maxwell in place, we will be able to tackle tough issues.”