Unanimously and with no discussion among board members, the Prince George’s County Board of Education approved a contract for new school system Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell during an emergency meeting Tuesday night.
“I think we’ve put together a contract that is going to keep an excellent superintendent with us for a long time,” said Segun Eubanks, board chairman.
Eubanks said the contract gives Maxwell a base pay of $290,000 a year for four years, and a start date of Aug. 1.
Maxwell, 61, is a former Prince George’s Public Schools teacher and principal. Since 2006, he has served as superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools.
Interim Superintendent Alvin Crawley’s pay was $215,000, according to his contract. Superintendent William Hite, who departed last September for the Philadelphia Public School system, had a base salary of $250,000.
Maxwell’s contract has not yet been made public.
“Until we voted just now, there was no contract to share. It was a confidential negotiation between Dr. Maxwell and the board,” Eubanks said. “Once Dr. Maxwell signs, and the board signs, it will be made completely public.”
Community members commented during the meeting on the lack of a public draft of the contract.
“It’s a matter of transparency that is missing from this board,” said David Cahn, co-chair of the education watchdog group Citizens for an Elected Board. “It was not on BoardDocs [school document website] and it is not before the public today so I and others can comment on it.”
Melody Spruill of Bowie said she was also disappointed in not being able to see the contract.
“I was hoping for an outline of the contract as well, because there is no reference point for me,” Spruill said. “By the time we get it, it’s going to be ironclad.”
The board voted on the contract following two and a half hours in closed session.
Maxwell was expected to sign the contract at a public Meet and Greet held Wednesday night at Crossland High School in Temple Hills, according to board Vice Chair Carolyn Boston (Dist. 6).
Board members Zabrina Epps (Dist. 1) and Edward Burroughs (Dist. 8) were not in attendance.
Eubanks said he negotiated the terms of the contract with Maxwell.
New legislation passed in April gave the county executive the power to appoint the board’s chair and vice-chair, and to choose the school system superintendent, now called a CEO, from among a field of three finalists named by a state-appointed board.
It also gives the board chair sole authority to negotiate the CEO contract.
“It’s a fair contract, I think, based on Dr. Maxwell’s experience and his level of success in Anne Arundel County,” Boston said.