PGCPS Head Start Had Previous Problems, Letter Says

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BOE Chair Segun C. Eubanks

Days after an investigation revealed that teachers allegedly abused and humiliated preschool children in Prince George’s County’s Head Start program, News4 has learned of past federal investigations that found issues with the program.

In 2013, a letter from Head Start to the Prince George’s County Board of Education listed several “non-compliances” within the program.

According to the letter, criminal background check files for 103 of 129 of the county’s Head Start staff were inaccurately kept and seven employees had no completed background check.

Half of the staff at the time also lacked required health exams or tuberculosis screenings, the letter said.

In addition, several classrooms had undesirable or hazardous materials such as cleaning chemicals, un-insulated hot radiators and broken toilet seats. The letter also states Prince George’s County Head Start was not properly reporting meals and snacks provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The program managed to keep its funding after all of the issues were corrected by January 2014.

The county’s Head Start program lost a $6.5 million federal grant on Aug. 17 after a federal investigation allegedly found poor instructor training and abuse of students.

On Tuesday, the county’s school board defended Head Start and vowed to find funding for the program.

Five school board members are calling for Board Chair Segun Eubanks and Vice Chair Carolyn Boston to step down and say the chair and vice chair did not inform the board about the investigation until just before federal funding was terminated.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said he has faith in Eubanks and Boston.

Source: NBC 4.

On Saturday, June 1, 2013, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III appointed Dr. Segun Eubanks as the new Prince George’s County Board of Education Chair. Dr. Eubanks was sworn-in by Prince George’s County Clerk of Circuit Court Marilynn M. Bland in the Office of the County Executive at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro. Video of the swearing-in of Board Chair Dr. Eubanks can be seen here.

Since Segun Eubanks became the chairperson, the school system has gotten worse and there many aspects of cover up rather than address the issues heads on.

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One response »

  1. Good Evening Everyone,

    Based on my understanding of the Family Law article of the Maryland code; § 5-704, 5-704.1 and 5-705 members board, employees of the Board of Education and the Office of the County Executive that had full knowledge of the report on Head Start were required to report the child abuse described in the report to the appropriate law enforcement agency: The only privileged communication exempted from the language I read is that of an attorney-clergy relationship, which none of you are.

    In light of laws clearly violated by the Chair and Vice Chair by failing to report the abuse of these children and then preventing other board members from acting lawfully by withholding critical details; namely the full report, I support the demand of the 5 board members that the Chair and Vice Chair resign. I’m taking it one step further; the CEO also needs to also resign. This on the heels of the Judge Sylvania Woods situation makes it impossible to trust his leadership. I challenge the county executive, who is also a lawyer and sworn to uphold the law to do the same to act responsibly and demand the same. If things are in the works we will soon know, but if the appropriate law enforcement agencies have not initiated actions to show they understand the seriousness of these individual’s actions, then the Justice Department needs to begin an investigation.

    The message being sent every day that the Board Chair, Vice Chair, CEO and any other individual from the BOE and County Executive office that had full knowledge of this report remain in their positions of employment and appointment is – PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY CHILDREN LIVES DO NOT MATTER.

    Lastly, I am submitting a copy to two requests under the Maryland Public Information Act for all correspondence in hard copy and electronic form, both digital and audio of information pertaining to the termination of a BOE employees are in an active appeal status.

    I ask this because I learned your General Counsel’s instructed a BOE attorney to respond to a request for documents under the rules of discovery to process as a request under the Maryland Public Information Act. If that is the case, I and every citizen has a right to that information. Of course, if that was just a stall tactic on the part of the BOE in violations of Discover rules, I will expect somebody sitting on this board, in the administration or Ombudsman office to act immediately before the system is engaged in another scandal.

    Tonya Wingfield
    tvwingfield@gmail.com

    Like

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