Thursday, August 25, 2011

Comments From Dr. Juanita Miller, chair of the NAACP Education Committee for the Prince George’s County Branch

I am Juanita Miller, chair of the NAACP Education Committee for the Prince George’s County Branch. The 2010/11 school year ended with a budget slash and many employees being terminated or downsized. The 2011/12 school year opened with blight as well, i.e., classrooms were without teachers—the foundation of a school system, impending law suits and allegations of age and racial discrimination as well as discriminatory hiring and promotional practices.

This is to apprise you that the NAACP will be working collaboratively with the unions, the County Council of PTA’s, the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and other community organizations to investigate and hopefully resolve the numerous complaints filed with our office. To be specific would take longer than the 3 minutes allotted. However, some of the complaints involve reassignment/replacement of the mentoring teachers, misuse and waste of funds by school system personnel and harassment of teachers by principals to name a few.

It is our hope that quelling these complaints will minimize the already astronomical costs to the system from a failed real estate venture, labor department fines and current law suits which, in total, range in millions of taxpayer dollars.

It is our intent to work with the school system to promote equity in the work place for its employees and most important to provide the best services to our stakeholders, the students. This can be accomplished throughout the school year beginning with transparent operations by the School Board and Superintendent—not “spoon fed” “feel good” rhetoric but the truth. I’d like to note that on a recent blog radio broadcast, Board member Armwood stated that Prince George’s Schools was no longer ranked #24 in the state but had moved up. When asked by the host the basis of his information and the current ranking, Mr. Armwood stated that he didn’t know and that Dr. Hite told him that we are no longer at the bottom. No hard data to support this claim was provided.

An earnest start would be with the Board responding to the request for a forensic audit which would provide a more comprehensive picture of the system’s financial operations. Stakeholders would get an understanding of whether funds and expenditures are utilized for more direct services to students or for maintaining programs that have been non productive with no accountability. Also, the audit would reveal the impact of the various litigation and (failed) real estate costs have had on the budget.

Another concern is the recent reorganization of the system by the superintendent to adjust to the budget cuts. Note: At this point, the NAACP is publicly requesting an organizational chart listing positions, names, and salaries of personnel. It appears ludicrous that executive level positions have been expanded while teacher, psychologists, counselors and other direct service provider positions were cut! Thus, the shortage of teachers on the first day of school.

The list is long but progress can be made. It is our intent to work diligently with the School Board to ameliorate the negative and move toward promoting a world class school system that will prepare our future leaders, engineers, technicians, other professionals and workforce persons who deserve not just better but the best.

Respectfully submitted,

Juanita Miller, Chair
Education Committee
NAACP Prince George’s County

You can listen to the interview with Mr. Armwood


  1. Sorry, I'm new here...

    What oversight does the NAACP have over PGCPS? Though I agree with many of the things here, I'm not sure why a parent would go to the NAACP to voice their concerns about the school system. Wouldn't the state board of education be proper?

  2. Many people file complaints to the NAACP not only on education or other issues to get help in answering those concerns. Often times going to the State Board of Education could involve the need to get an attorney or other assistance that many poor families don't have access to. The NAACP often will provide support in the form of counseling and legal help to get their concerns addressed. For instance Dr. Miller is a former administrator in PGCPS. She is very aware of the complex legal and procedure issues that too many parents just don't know.


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