By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. Editor
The Maryland State Board of Education voted this past week to take action against the Prince George’s County School board chair Juanita D. Miller after county residents filed a petition to remove her from office.
After receiving complaints from Prince George’s County School board members for months preceding the “notice of charges” against Miller, the State School Board’s formal action now means the State Board can elect to remove her.
In an August 2021 letter acknowledging receipt of the complaints against Miller, the State Board issued a letter stating “If the State Board determines that a request to issue charges is factually and legally sufficient, it will send a notice of the charges to the member, who may then file a request for a hearing within 10 days of the date of issuance of the charges.”
Miller has been in bitter conflict with several board members since she was appointed by Prince George’s County in January 2021.
“Now we can see that the State Board had to read through the facts and make a decision,” said Prince George’s County member Shayla Adams Stafford (District-4). Stafford was one of six board members who brought formal charges against Miller.
County Councilman and former school board member Edward Burroughs has also called for Miller’s removal. “While every other board was working together to bring back our students safely in the middle of this pandemic, the Prince George’s County School Board was shut down,” he said.
Miller told news sources she did not know about the State Board of Education vote and would seek an attorney for a hearing that is her right according to State School Board policy.
The State Board of Education has a high bar for removing school board members. Misconduct in office, neglect of duty, incompetence, immorality or failure to attend meetings are among the actions that can prompt removal.
In the last decade, the State Board of Education has removed only three board members.
Starting in December, the country’s school board will choose their own chair and vice chair, positions that were previously appointed by the Prince George’s County Executive. The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation in their 2022 session removing the board’s four appointed members in July 2024.
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