A proposal to virtually eliminate elementary school busing in Prince George's County by realigning the attendance boundaries and closing 11 schools was dropped Wednesday by the county Board of Education.
The vote to table the controversial plan was 6 to 2, with board members Maureen Steinecke and Leslie Kreimer voting to keep the concept alive. Its fate became obvious last month when Sue V. Mills - a longtime busing foe - withdrew her support from the measure in the face of overwhelming public opposition.
Mills, in a statement released Wednesday, said she believed the reduced-busing proposal would have been better received had it not included the school closings. "The subject of school closings is very touchy these days," Mills said.
The proposal was drawn up last fall after a demographic study showed that the racial complexion of the county had changed dramatically since 1972 when a U.S. court ordered a massive busing program to desegregate the schools. The study found that many communities within the county had become integrated over the last five years to the extent that busing was either unnecessary or counter-productive.
The reduced-busing proposals were strongly opposed, however, at six public hearings the school board held last month. Parents from the 11 schools that were threatened with closing jammed the hearings and argued that they had not been given an opportunity to take part in the decision-making process. In addition, leaders of the black community opposed the change, arguing that the new plan would result in several all-black schools.
The school board's action means that no schools will be closed for the 1978-79 school year.