National Education Corp. of Newport Beach, Calif., plans to acquire Temporaries Inc., a Washington-based temporary employes company, for more than $30 million in cash and stock.

Temporaries' founder and president, Barry Wright, said yesterday that he signed a preliminary agreement on Monday to sell the business to NEC, a $100 million-a-year firm specializing in vocational and industrial training and educational publishing.

Wright said the agreement calls for him to remain chief executive of the firm and for the headquarters of the 27-city operation to remain in Washington.

Wright is the majority stockholder of Temporaries, one of the 100 biggest businesses based in Washington, with annual revenues of more than $35 million. He said that minority owners include some employes and a few outside investors. National Education is a publicly owned firm whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

"They came to use about a year ago," Wright said. "They approached us because they were looking to expand, and they settled on the personnel industry."

The initial talks were fruitless, but negotiations resumed and "they made us an offer we couldn't refuse," he said.

"The combined growth potential of the two corporations is enormous," Wright added. "National Education is one of the country's most sophisticated educational chains. We've been building our organization and are going to continue expanding."

Temporaries Inc. opened its first office here in 1969 as a provider of temporary office workers; in 1977 a medical division, Hospital Temporaries, was started to supply part-time personnel to hospitals and nursing homes.

Wright said the firm plans to open offices next year in one or two more cities, to expand the territory served by some of its present offices and to begin a pilot project of providing temporary home nursing services.

As an affiliate of a major training firm, Temporaries Inc. should gain advantages in recruiting workers for highly skilled office and health-care jobs, he noted.

Wright declined to detail how much cash and stock National Education will pay for Temporaries Inc. If the two firms can reach a final agreement to merge, the transaction probably will be completed by April, he said.