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Divisions on Pr. Geo's School Board?

The Prince George's County Board of Education voted to keep Verjeana M. Jacobs and Ron Watson in the panel's top two posts for the coming year, but only after a process that highlighted divisions among the school system's leadership without clarifying what they are.

The action began much like last year, as Pat Fletcher (District 3) nominated Jacobs (At Large) to be chairman and Watson (At Large) to be vice chairman.

There were no other nominations, and it appeared the vote would roll through as easily as it has in years past. Then Donna Hathaway Beck (At Large) departed from the script and made a motion to vote on Jacobs and Watson separately.

Board members, looking slightly puzzled, voted on that motion, which had five votes in support. It was briefly declared to have passed until board members were reminded that the motion required six votes to pass.

A few motions later, they finally got around to voting on the nomination of Jacobs and Watson. It passed, but Beck and Linda Thornton Thomas (District 4) voted against it, and Amber Waller (At Large) and Edward Burroughs III, the student member, abstained.

Those who opposed the nomination offered no public explanation at the meeting.

"I would have preferred the vote to be split, because then I could have voted yes once," Beck said. She declined to elaborate.

-- Nelson Hernandez

By Anne Bartlett  |  December 4, 2008; 1:43 PM ET
Categories:  Prince George's County  
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