District 5 Board of Education race between Landis, Raaheela.

The race for the Prince George’s County Board of Education District 5 seat pits a financial Consultant with ties to Federal government and  school system employee with an High school diploma.  The incumbent board member verjeana Jacobs was defeated in the first round in April after many years of spearheading corruption within the county schools.

On Election Day, residents of District 5 will have to choose between Cheryl Landis, and Raaheela Ahmed. However, both candidates have failed to respond on questions concerning corruption in the county and how they plan to address the issues within PGCPS in order to improve governance.The only person who responded with a promise to address all the questions was Raaheela Ahmend who promised to share her responses before the election day.

According to Washington Post, Raaheela Ahmed, 23, who does financial consulting for federal agencies, lives in Bowie and is making her second try for a school board seat. Her top issues are transparency and accountability, community engagement and school safety.

As she and her campaign volunteers have talked to residents — visiting 5,000 homes over the summer, she said — the biggest issue was whether the district is being managed properly: “A lot of people were concerned about oversight,” she said.

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Raaheela Ahmed

Looking at the Head Start and abuse scandals, Ahmed said: “I think it comes down to being reactive, as opposed to proactive, and I think that’s a deep cultural issue we have with our school system.” Ahmed said she thinks the state audit of Head Start is a positive step but should have been approved more quickly.

 “It shouldn’t take that much effort to fight for something like that,” she said. “We should be willing to be transparent and see what went wrong.”

A 2011 graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Ahmed — who has been endorsed by the teachers union — earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park. She said she would push for a more interactive budget website and an evaluation of programs to see which are most effective.

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Cheryl Landis

Cheryl Landis, 62, a 27-year school system employee from Upper Marlboro who retired this week , is making her first run for office. Landis spent 17 years working in the school board offices, and more recently focused on partnerships with businesses, nonprofits and community groups.

Landis is a former chair of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee and has been endorsed by Baker. She says one of her top concerns is how the board operates and works with the superintendent and community. “The board must be functional, not dysfunctional. They must work as a unit.”

Of recent abuse scandals, Landis said the board should hold the administration accountable for acting on safety task force recommendations. She said she would like updates on progress quarterly, not yearly. She also would push for a volunteer coordinator position and a process to track where volunteers are working within the system.

Landis, mother of a school system graduate, said she would work to ensure schools in her district have a fully engaged PTA and would help foster partnerships between District 5 schools and area businesses and nonprofit groups. She is a high school graduate.

Prince George’s County voters are encouraged to elect Board of Education members with highest levels of ethics to help improve the county and create transparency. Forces of Corruption will not work if the voters are engaged to create better outcomes.

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