Archive for April 2011
I normally post a lengthy analysis on Prince George’s County’s latest news. In the case of yesterday’s breaking news about Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) owing foreign teachers $4.2 million in back wages, and $1.7 million in fines issued by the federal government, there’s no extended commentary that is necessary. It is simply unconscionable that PGCPS would not only fail to acknowledge the problem, but refuse to pay back wages or negotiate a settlement, according to today’s report in the Washington Post. Our Superintendent, Dr. Hite, says he plans an appeal. On what grounds? If you engaged in illegal procedures as part of your hiring practices in recruiting foreign teachers, then please stop making excuses for that. As I originally posted earlier this year, Dr. Hite has a large group of human resources staff, paid (in my opinion) excessive six-figure salaries to manage hiring for the school district. If our human resources staff cost PGCPS $5.9 million by making illegal decisions in hiring foreign teachers, then they should be fired immediately. Instead, the proposed FY 2012 budget includes increased salaries and wages for our human resources staff, and the creation of a new Human Capital Management division, at a cost of $16 million. The Board of Education would be making a serious mistake if they did not demand an internal investigation to determine how Ms. Shilling and her staff made illegal decisions that cost PGCPS millions. Our children have too much to lose if we do not fix the bureaucratic chaos within the PGCPS central office. UPDATE: Ms. Shilling lists her former position as Deputy General Counsel for Prince George’s County Public Schools. How could a former attorney for the school system be unaware of legal requirements regarding hiring practices for foreign teachers? It’s simply inexcusable.
Please join me, along with other concerned citizens in Prince George’s County, as we speak out about unanswered questions regarding the PGCPS FY 2012 budget on Thursday, May 5, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton. Make your voice heard before the County Council votes on the final budget in late May, by speaking at Council’s upcoming budget public hearings on May 2 and May 11. The public outcry must be loud, and must consist of thousands of voices, because our elected officials seem somewhat tone deaf about addressing corruption with a firm hand in Prince George’s County.