UPPER MARLBORO, MD — The head of Prince George’s County Schools (PGCPS) is bringing in two outside investigations to look at how the school system operates and what led to the loss of federal funding for the county’s Head Start program.
CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell told the PGCPS Board of Education members at a meeting Thursday that he has asked the Maryland State Department of Education to conduct a full audit of the Head Start program and what led to the loss of its $6.5-million grant following a report showing allegations of child abuse.
Dr. Maxwell added he has asked superintendents throughout Maryland to provide teams to review PGCPS’ internal communications and workplace relations protocols.
"It is clear that our gaps in these two areas are hindering our efforts towards full accountability, transparency and responsiveness,” said Dr. Maxwell.
At the board meeting, Dr. Maxwell also addressed the resignation of his Chief of Staff, George Margolies, on Wednesday. Dr. Maxwell asked for his resignation after an email written several months ago was made public, that showed Margolies discussing how to release information related to abuse allegations in the Head Start program.
"And a compromise was made, in my view to bury this information,” said District 8 board member Edward Burroughs III.
But Dr. Maxwell said he asked for Margolies’ resignation because of “inappropriate tone” in the email.
"This email does not constitute evidence of a conspiracy or a coverup. It was solely about the format of how information is shared with the Board,” said Dr. Maxwell.
Following the board meeting, Burroughs, along with District 1 member Zabrina Epps, District 5 Verjeana Jacobs, and student member Juwan Blocker called for Dr. Maxwell to resign from his position.
"What happens next is ultimately in the hands of the public. They will get away with whatever you allow and unless you rise up and hold the County Executive accountable and hold this administration accountable. This will continue to happen,” said Burroughs.
Dr. Maxwell was appointed to his position by County Executive Rushern Baker, who told members of media earlier in the day that he has confidence in Dr. Maxwell and will not be asking him to step down.