The Washington Post

Prince George’s school superintendent finalists withdraw from consideration

The last two finalists vying for the job of Prince George’s school superintendent withdrew from consideration Friday.

Alvin L. Crawley, the county’s interim superintendent, and Harrison Peters, a schools chief in the Chicago Public School System, notified the board of their decision just three weeks after they were formally introduced to the public as candidates.

The announcement comes as the Maryland General Assembly is poised to approve a bill that would allow County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) the power to select the new school superintendent for the 123,000-student system. Baker had indicated that he would reopen the search if the legislation passes.

Earlier this week, Eric Becoats, the Durham school superintendent, withdrew his candidacy.

The school board, which met in executive session on Friday, said in a statement that it understood the candidates’ decision in light of “the disruption that occurred” and the “uncertainty of the leadership of the school system in the coming months.”

“All three candidates were considered for the position under the current PGCPS governance structure,” the statement reads. “We sincerely appreciate the participation of the Prince George’s County community throughout our search for a new superintendent and the constructive feedback we received. We regret that your voice was not heard.”

The three finalists were chosen by the board last month, just days before Baker announced his plans to ask state lawmakers to give him complete control over the school system. State lawmakers instead pared down the proposal and are considering a bill that allows Baker to name the new schools chief, appoint three new school board members and to select the board’s chair and vice chair.

The county is in the process of selecting a replacement for former superintendent William R. Hite Jr., who was the school district’s fifth superintendent in 10 years.

Crawley’s contract ends on June 30.

Ovetta Wiggins covers Maryland state politics in Annapolis.

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