Prince George’s County (Md.) school district chief Kevin Maxwell says he will leave his job some time after the end of the school year.
The Washington Post reports that Maxwell's decision comes in the wake of scandals that left critics questioning his judgment and leadership.
The struggling 130,000-student system has seen improvement during Maxwell’s five-year tenure, but remains one of the lowest-performing in Maryland.
County Executive Rushern L. Baker III hired Maxwell in 2013 after the state legislature gave him expanded powers to try to turn around the public school system. Under Maxwell, academic offerings and enrollment increased, and test scores rose slightly.
But critics increasingly called for his ouster in recent months amid inquiries into unauthorized pay increases among central-office staff and fraud in graduation rates. Those scandals followed earlier turmoil over a sexual abuse case involving a school volunteer, which raised questions about staff oversight, and the loss of a multimillion-dollar Head Start grant.
“The numerous distractions that have occurred over the course of this school year are unlike anything I’ve experienced in four decades of working in public education,” Maxwell, 66, said in a message to Prince George’s educators, parents and community members. “Without question, they have taken a toll on students, families and staff.”
Baker faced growing political pressure to fire Maxwell, but had resisted calls to dismiss him.
Maxwell came to Prince George’s from the Anne Arundel County (Md.) district, where he served as schools superintendent for seven years.
Maxwell has more than three years left on his Prince George's County contract and makes a base salary of $299,937, a district spokesman says.