LARGO, Md. — The Prince George’s County NAACP told Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Tuesday that it wants to initiate an audit of the county school curriculum and overturn a state law that gave County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) the power to select the schools superintendent.
Bob Ross, president of the county branch of the NAACP, said the organization is also considering filing a civil rights lawsuit against the school district, which is the second-largest in the state.
Ross met for nearly an hour with Hogan, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) and members of the governor’s executive staff to discuss the state’s probe of alleged grade-tampering and fraudulent graduation rates in Prince George’s.
Ross said the NAACP asked Hogan to meet with them to discuss “what [the governor] can do at his level” to overturn the state law and launch a curriculum audit.
In the end, they were told: not much.
Hogan told the members of the NAACP and several parents who joined their meeting that he supports them and their efforts. He suggested they contact their state representatives and local officials and urge them to take seriously the findings of a recent state audit, which found that grades were changed days before graduation for nearly 5,500 students during the past two years.
County and school officials are scheduled to release a corrective plan next week.
The governor has repeatedly criticized Baker, one of eight Democrats seeking the nomination to run against him next November, over what he says is a lackluster response to the audit.
On Tuesday, after several parents called for the removal of Kevin Maxwell, Baker’s handpicked schools chief, Hogan said, “They have lost confidence in leadership.”
A spokesman for Baker said Maxwell and his staff “have been working diligently to correct” problems identified in the audit.
“We take our children and their futures very seriously, which is why we are working to correct any deficiencies,” spokesman Scott Peterson said.
Hogan declined to say whether he thought Maxwell should be ousted, calling it a decision for Baker.
Ross said his members, who sought the meeting with the governor, planned to meet him in Annapolis, but instead were told Hogan would come to Prince George’s, Baker’s home area.
There are reports according to Mr. Delvin Champagne that, Policy makers and community leaders were totally supportive of expanding School Choice Vouchers to maximize options and opportunity in Prince George’s County.