Educational matters that affect Charles County are under the control of the Board of Education (Code Education Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-126).

The Board of Education consists of eight members. Seven are elected by the voters to four-year terms (Code Election Law Article, secs. 8-801 through 8-806). A nonvoting student member, elected by the Charles County Association of Students Councils, serves a one-year term, starting in July (Code Education Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-105; 3-501 through 3-504).


The Charles County Public School System is governed by the County Board of Education (Code Education Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-126). In addition, through the review and approval of the annual operating and capital budgets, Charles County government exercises authority over the County Public Schools. Moreover, through the establishment and monitoring of various financial and academic policies and regulations, the State Department of Education also has considerable oversight of county public schools. Indeed, under Maryland law, the State Department of Education works with county public schools to comply with requirements and mandates of federal law.

In Charles County, the Public School System has thirty-seven schools: 7 high schools, 8 middle schools, 22 elementary schools, and 5 educational centers. In Fiscal Year 2022, some 26,875 students were enrolled in the County's public schools.

The Superintendent of Schools administers the Charles County Public School System, and serves as executive officer, secretary, and treasurer of the Board of Education (Code Education Article, secs. 4-102; 4-201 through 4-206).

As of 2022, the Charles County Public Schools includes 22 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, 7 high schools, and 5 educational centers.


The College of Southern Maryland is the community college for southern Maryland. It started as the Charles County Community College in 1958 with evening classes offered at La Plata High School. In 1968, the College moved to its present site when construction began on the La Plata campus. Thereafter, campuses formed in the adjoining southern counties. In 1978, the St. Mary's County Community College began at Great Mills High School and, in 1980, the Calvert County Community College organized at Prince Frederick. The campus at St. Mary's County was established at its present Leonardtown site in 1997.

On July 1, 2000, the College of Southern Maryland was created to join the three southern Maryland campuses into a regional college for Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties (Code Education Article, secs. 16-601 through 16-610). Subsequently, Calvert County's Prince Frederick campus opened in 2005.


Based in La Plata, the Charles County Public Library originated in 1922 when books were offered for lending on the second floor of the old town jail. Originally supported by private donations and fund raising, public funds were budgeted for the Library in 1950. The main Library moved to its current location in 1966.

Today, the Library has four branches, as well as the Mobile Services Library, added in 2016. The four branches include the main library at La Plata; the P. D. Brown Memorial Branch (opened in 1980) and the Waldorf West Branch (opened in November 2012), both at Waldorf; and the Potomac Branch (opened in 1995) at Indian Head.

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