“The real question is, why hasn’t it already happened,” Alsobrooks said. “The people who live here feel they have been held hostage by this particular issue.”
Baker is running for governor, and spokesman Scott Peterson said those vying to succeed him as county executive “will eventually have the opportunity to decide who they would like to be the next” schools chief, thanks to his move to take more control of the struggling system in 2013. “County Executive Baker does not believe the best course of action on behalf of the students and teachers is to throw PGCPS leadership into disarray for the next 8 months just for political expediency.”
John White, Maxwell’s spokesman, called Alsobrooks’s statement “political campaign rhetoric that doesn’t apply to the school system’s daily operations.”
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Ben Jealous, one of Baker’s top rivals in the seven-person Democratic gubernatorial primary, have also called on Baker to fire Maxwell.
Edwards noted in a statement that she’d first said Maxwell should go in August, and she accused Alsobrooks of bowing to political headwinds. Alsobrooks countered that she backs her words with actions, while “all Donna ever does is talk.”
Muse, a vocal critic of Baker’s takeover of the school system, said he first called for Maxwell to be fired more than two years ago. “Maybe if all of these folks who are calling for his resignation now had done it then, we wouldn’t have come to this point,” he said.
Alsobrooks said she and Baker have collaborated on successes over the past seven years, including an increase in funding for her office and a 50 percent reduction in violent crime. “But this is one issue that we disagree on,” she said. “I believe it must be done so we can get back to talking about the sacred obligation we have to educate our children.” The primary is June 26.