On Monday Dr. William Hite, Superintendent of the Prince George’s County Public Schools, invited all non-incumbent candidates for the Board of Education to a private meeting in his office. Our investigations reveal that, Hite requested the discussion to probably sway potential board members. He is looking for ways to make sure it works for him since questions surrounding misappropriation of funds, professional misconduct and nepotism was first brought to light in our blog. Before highlighting more about the meeting we think it is important to get a few facts straight;
- Hite’s scheduling secretary sent an e-mail early this month (February 2012) inviting the candidates to a brief meeting on Monday night at Sasscer Administration Building.
- The invitation was not sent to all candidates but just all non-incumbents with an exception of two Board members close to Dr. Hite.
- The invite didn’t mention the agenda. However, Since then, the meeting has taken on a life of its own.
Some of the BOE candidates chose not to attend the meeting with Dr. Hite because they felt it flirted with a line that they were not willing to cross. “Meetings of this type should not be done in private” Joseph Kitchen said. There was the appearance that he wanted to tell “candidates what the board is supposed to do. It’s supposed to work the other way around.” He continued. We agree with him. Superintendent William Hite Jr is not a reformer in our view and is presiding over deep seated corruption in variety of ways in Pg County. Superintendent Hite who is a great friend of convicted former county executive (Jack Johnson) needs to be put on the spot light as he was elected corruptly. Proper accountability is needed immediately.
According to Washington post, “among some of the topics discussed were the district’s revenue, its enrollment, and maintenance and repair of school property”. The information shared by Dr. Hite never came as a surprise to us, and the issues he outlined are issues we have been involved in for many months now. We want to see proper accountability and transparency involving millions of dollars slated to be poured in Pg County towards construction projects and other matters in the next school year. We demand public scrutiny with proper checks and balances.
Accountability is a fundamental value for any system. Citizens of PG County should have the right to know what actions are being taken in their name, and they should have the means to force corrective actions when government acts in an illegal, immoral, or unjust manner as seen in Prince Georges County recently. Individual citizens should have the ability to have some redress when their rights are abused by government or they do not receive the public benefits to which they are entitled.
Accountability is also important for Dr Hite and PGCPS itself. It provides the school system or any government agency with a means of understanding how programs may fail and finding mechanisms that can make programs perform better. Covering up Financial corruption with the announcement that PGCPS got a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award will never fly with anybody. Staff we spoke to at Sasscer knows what is happening regarding the decay in PGCPS.
In the next several months, discussions on serious issues regarding corruptions and other matters will be discussed. It’s in these forums where true leaders will be identified to lead the next BOE in Prince Georges County. The decision regarding a private meeting with Dr. Hite should not have taken place in private especially in regards to issues pertaining to public funds. Let us demand transparency.
23 candidates are vying for the Board of Education seats. Citizens of PG County must do their work in order to select the best candidates who have a good track record in fighting corruption. This is the key to accountability!