By Scott Broom
The Prince George’s County Board of Education is not required to pay severance to departing school system CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell, according to his contract.
Even so, the board is negotiating the terms of his departure according to Board of Education member Edward Burroughs III.
Burroughs is among a minority on the board who have been Maxwell opponents. Burroughs say no severance should be paid.
“It has no benefits to the school district or the students,” Burroughs said.
Teacher’s Union President Theresa Ann Mitchell-Dudley says any payment to Maxwell “would be an offense to all the teachers of Prince George’s County.”
On Tuesday, Maxwell announced he would begin “to move into a transition” at the end of the 2017-18 school year despite a 2017 contract that pays him more than $300,000 per year plus benefits until 2021.
Maxwell’s contract states: “If the parties mutually agree to terminate this Contract prior to the expiration date, they also may agree (but are not required to agree) to a severance payment for the CEO.”
Maxwell’s achievements since 2013 include increased enrollment, expanded academic offerings and better test scores.
But his tenure has been marred by serious missteps.
His administration has endured inquiries into suspicions of fraud in graduation rates and alleged unauthorized double-digit pay raises for some central-office staff while teachers got much less. Earlier the handling of a school volunteer caught abusing children and the loss of a $6.5 million dollar federal Head Start grant over concerns of abuse raised questions about staff oversight and leadership.
All major candidates to replace outgoing County Executive Rushern Baker have promised moves to fire Maxwell after the 2018 elections. Baker is running for Governor and is being bludgeoned by opponents over the troubles in the school system.
In the heated political environment, Maxwell was faced with a choice of quitting and negotiating a severance with a Board of Education still dominated by supporters. Or facing the possibility of being fired for cause after the 2018 elections and leaving with nothing.
Doris Reed He didn’t give anything to those he wrongfully terminated. He’s entitled to be paid through June 30 like other employees.
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