Lawmakers Vote to Overhaul County Schools

Gale Horton Gay | 4/10/2013, 11:52 a.m.

Jacobs said there is much uncertainty about how the new structure will work.

"At the end of the day our main focus will continue to be our kids," said Jacobs.

Another potential problem is timing.

By law, schools must have a superintendent in place by July 1. However the new law doesn't go into effect until June 1, leaving a 30-day window for the identification and selection of the new schools CEO.

Jacobs added Prince George's County will have a structure that doesn't exist elsewhere in the country, noting that the school board will not select the new school chief but will be expected to confirm that individual. Also the new leader will make decisions without getting approval from the board first. However if two-thirds of the board disagrees with his or her actions, they can vote to appeal those decisions, she said.

Currently the superintendent makes recommendations and the board approves or rejects those recommendations.

The new approach automatically will create tension between the schools CEO and the board, she said.

"It's hard to conceptualize exactly how it's going to work," said Jacobs of working with the new schools CEO now that the board has no input.

Both Baker and Jacobs said they are committed to working together.

Baker said he is pleased with the outcome and is now focused on moving forward.

"Now, our task is to identify the CEO who will provide the roadmap for building a top-notch school system that provides our children with a great education," he said.