A plan that could move some students back into neighborhood schools and reduce the distrance and cost of busing was presented to the Prince George's County school board last week.
The study of the county's 240 schools, offered to the board by Supt. Edward J. Feeney, would have the effect of transferring 2,400 bus riders to schools closer to their homes.
Last June the school board passed a resolution requesting a staff review of the present attendance zones in the county schools to ascertain if more children could attend schools nearer their homes.
School board member Sue V. Mills, who proposed the review, said "I am anxious to reduce busing. Some of the areas in the county have changed racially and in some schools there is now a racial imbalance because of it. I dont' want to penalize those who have tried to build integrated communities in the county."
The desegregation order in January, 1973, caused an additional 11,000 students to be bused and approximately 17,000 students to be bused to schools farther away. Guidelines set up at that time require that all schools have a student body of not less than 10 per cent black nor more than 50 per cent black. Currently, 88,000 students in the county are being bused.
Mills said the nencluding after the preent racial balance at either schoolw demographic plan would only make changes in the areas "where they'll need the change. We will look at the schools where the kids they go back to the original school and not affect the present racial balance at either school, and do the schools have room for them."
The school board, meanwhile, received recommendations from nine area task force studies on school closings Tuesday that pinpoint county schools that could be closed because of underutilization. The task forces were prompted by a drop in the county's student enrollment of 161.779 in Sept. 1972 to 143,600 in 1976, and by a tight financial situation countywide.
School board staff members said enrollment figures and racial information had been provided to the individual task forces and that the demographic study would have little effect on the school closing recommedations.
Only one school, in the area task force including Mt. Rainer, Chillum and Hyattsville, would be affected by the study, according to Charles Wendorf, director of pupil accounting and school boundaries.
The proposed reshuffling would involve students at 44 elementary schools, nine junior high schools and six high schools, and would begin this fall if approved by the board. Seniors would not be affected until the fall of 1978.
Mills said, "We are not out for more disruption - stability is what I'm looking for."
The board will consider the demographic report and the school closing task force recommendations at a special work session on March 23 at Frederick Sasscer Junior High School in Upper Marlboro. Public hearings on both issues will be scheduled for April.