Gov. Martin O'Malley told The Sun on Wednesday that he would be open to political accountability for the state of city schools, according to our Statehouse Reporter Erin Cox.
In an interview with Sun editors, the governor said that he would back a measure similar to one lawmakers voted in for Prince George's County giving the county's executive an unprecedented level of authority over the long-troubled (though the district outperformed Baltimore recently) school system.
You can read more about the PG shake-up, which allows the county executive to hire the new schools superintendent, here.
According to Cox, O'Malley said he would back Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake if she were to seek increased power.
He said it was "very important for parents to know which of us to vote against when the schools aren't improving."
The mayor declined to comment on the offer.
In 1997 the city relinquished power over its beleaguered schools for a large infusion of cash from the state. Under a new city-state partnership, the state and city share the responsibility of funding the city schools, and the governor and mayor jointly appoint the school board that governs the system. The city school board appoints the superintendent.
There have been calls in recent years for more accountability in the system, including a hybrid elected-appointed school board and/or mayoral control. Lawmakers have also proposed legislation seeking such measures.
The board has opposed any election of school board members, and its chairman has publicly denounced allegations that the board is controlled by schools CEO Andres Alonso.
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