Becoats withdraws from consideration for Maryland job

Apr. 03, 2013 @ 11:44 PM

Eric Becoats won’t go to Maryland after all.

On Tuesday, the current superintendent of Durham Public Schools withdrew from consideration for the job of superintendent of Prince George’s County Schools.

“Earlier today, Dr. Eric J. Becoats notified the [Prince George’s County board’s] search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), of his decision to withdraw from the search process,” the Upper Marlboro school district announced in a news release posted on its website.

Becoats had been one of three finalists for the job, along with interim Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley and Harrison A. Peters, chief of schools for Chicago Public Schools. Crawley and Peters remain under consideration by the PGCS Board of Education.

It’s unclear why Becoats decided against the move. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

During a town hall meeting in Upper Marlboro last month, Becoats told an audience of teachers, politicians, parents and students that he would stay at least four years if hired.

“This is not a stepping stone for me,” the Baltimore native said. “This is completing a circle, if you will. It’s coming home.”

Now, instead, it appears that Becoats will call Durham home for the time being.

Worth noting, the PGCS superintendent search comes during a time when Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III wants to take over the school system. A Maryland Senate vote this week could put the choice of new superintendent in Baker’s hands, rather than the school board’s.

Heidi Carter, chair of the DPS Board of Education, confirmed on Wednesday that she had heard from Becoats about his decision.

“He told me he had been thinking carefully about whether he would want to take on the superintendency of Prince George’s County and had decided to continue his work in DPS,” Carter said. “He didn’t mention the fact that the search had been reopened in PGC. I learned about this later when I read some articles from PGC news services. This seems like an important detail to me, one that might have influenced his decision. I’m sorry he was less than transparent with me about this.”

She wants the district to move forward with more secure footing, she said.

“Overall, I prefer to no longer be in limbo about whether we need to begin searching for a new superintendent for Durham,” she said. “For now, Dr. Becoats is continuing to fulfill his contract with us.”

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