The fourth plan in as many months to curtail school busing in Prince George's County was formally accepted for consideration by the county Board of Education last night.
The proposal by board member, Susan B. Bieniasz is an amalgam of past plans considered -- and recently tabled -- by the board and is an effort to return to neighborhood schools as many as possible of the approximately 79,400 students now bused to other schools.
School busiing has been a divisive issue in the county since a court-ordered plan to use it to implement desegregation went into effect in January 1973.
Bieniasz said yesterday her proposal is an attempt "to eliminate busing for desegregation where it's no longer needed," particularly where students are "cross-bused" from one integrated community to another.
Her proposal, which will come up for discussion at a board meeting in two weeks, asks the school superintendent, in consultation with a citizens advisory committee, to develop a plan that would set new attendance boundaries for the country's 217 schools.
It also would allow for as many as 10 "one race" schools, where 90 percent of the school's students are of one race because the surrounding neighborhood is predominatly one race.
It also suggests that specialized "magnet schools" with special course offerings be set up in areas where one-race schools might otherwise exist. These schools could draw students from all parts of the county.
Bieniasz's proposal recommends establishment of an oversight group of parents and other citizens to monitor changes in the racial composition of neighborhood schools. Such a panel would work to ensure that any school with 70 percent of its students of one race would receive resources and educational programs equal to those supplied all other county schools.
Bieniasz said one benefit of her plan would be reduction of the funds spent on busing at a time when the school board is under severe pressure to economize. In the current school budget, $14.5 million is earmarked for transportation.
The new proposal incorporates elements of three others tabled by the board on May 31 despite a general feeling among board members that the county's six-year-old busing plan must be reconsidered.
At a public hearing at that time, many speakers bitterly attacked any move that would create one-race schools or resegregate students.