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A New Era of Education in Prince George’s County | Schools

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A New Era of Education in Prince George’s County

Photo source: gazette.com

The recent elections, a few weeks ago, marked a changing of the times in Prince George’s County and its educational system.  Edward Burroughs, at just the tender age of 18 years old, became the youngest elected official in the state of Maryland, as he was elected as a member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education.  This year marked the first time that voters of this county had the opporunity to vote for school board members.  His victory over his opponent, Steven Morris, proved to be a historic change in a county desperate for improvement in education.

Burroughs, who is a 2010 graduate of Crossland High School and a current student at Bowie State University, represents District 8 which includes Camp Springs, Clinton, Forest Heights, Fort Washington, Glassmanor, Marlow Heights, Temple Hills as well as Oxon Hill.  Steven Morris, during the campaigning season, argued that “He is a child, and I am a professional.”  Morris, who was endorsed by the Washington Post, believed his experience was important to the position and the responsibilities that must be assumed.  Burroughs stated that he was “old enough to have his legs blown off in Iraq, but not old enough to avoid patronization and condescension as he campaigns to improve the schools he recently graduated from.”  Despite his age and the seemingly underdog role he played in this battle, Burroughs comes into this position with a great deal of experience including being an Education Liason for State Senator C. Anthony Muse and outgoing County Councilmember and Council Chair Thomas Dernoga.  He has also been a committee member of the Board of Education Policy Review, Disability Issues Advisory Board, Secondary Schools Reform Committee, and Suspension and Expulsion Reduction Taskforce.  But perhaps his biggest and most relevant experience is his election of being the first and youngest student in the county’s history to be elected as a second term student member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education, which led him to serve on the previous aforementioned committees.

According to an interview conducted prior to the election, Burroughs is looking to help create a smarter budget of school funding, raise student achievement, better prepare non-college attending students for the work force with more vocational training, maintain colloboration with the community, have real accountability for his and as well as his colleagues’position on the school board, and work to support and expand specialty programs.  He is also looking to continue the ongoing effort for the construction of a new building for Oxon Hill High School. 

There is simply no doubt that Burroughs provides a unique perspective, given he is a recent graduate and has been very active in the educational process.  His unique perspective should provide much more balance and a more first-hand point of view of the pros and cons to the Prince George’s County Educational System.  He is truly a change of pace for an educational system that is searching for a new direction and that change just may be marked on December 6th, at the swearing-in of newly elected officials.