Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker says he is pleased with progress the state legislature has made in considering legislation that would grant him more control of the county school system.
At a public hearing before a joint committee of state senators and delegates, parents and teachers weighed in. So did members of the current elected school board, who got a thorough grilling from lawmakers, frustrated by low test scores in underperforming schools, where superintendents have a record of leaving after two years.
Baker wants to be able to select the superintendent, which would become a cabinet level position. He also wants to add more members to the current school board and strip it of the authority to handle the school system budget.
State lawmakers introduced another bill this past week, which would allow Baker to pick the superintendent, but authority over the budget would remain with the school board.
The lawmakers have only two weeks left in the current session to vote on the legislation.
Baker says as a former member of the legislature, he has confidence lawmakers have enough time.