The Prince George’s County school board has doubled down on CEO Kevin Maxwell’s education reforms, approving on Tuesday a $1.93 billion budget for the next fiscal year, which includes expansion of prekindergarten and career academies, despite the possibility of cuts in state funding.
“In order for us to significantly improve as a school district, we can’t just keep pace with everyone else,” said school board chairman Segun Eubanks. “We have to outpace our neighboring counties. If we’re second to last, the only way to get out of second to last is to outpace everyone else, and that requires a significant investment.”
The budget is a 7.6 percent increase over the current year’s $1.8 billion budget.
Eubanks said it was conversations with Maxwell over the budget cuts that led to the increase.
“We had this discussion, and we were asking, what are we going to cut? Jeez, We don’t even have what we need. Why don’t we ask for what we really think would significantly accelerate the pace of improvement?” Eubanks said. “So we said, ‘Let’s ask for it.’”
Maxwell’s original budget froze the rollout of arts integration programs, career academies, full-day prekindergarten and peer teacher review programs, but those programs are included in the new budget, which Maxwell presented to the board the day before it was scheduled to vote on the budget.
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