D.C. school board president R. Calvin Lockridge said yesterday he will ask the school board to order about 500 teachers who are doing administrative work to go back to the classroom.
Lockridge said the teachers are now working as curriculum writers, special education assistants, acting principals, acting supervisors and deans of students.
Many of these teachers are still being paid teacher's salaries while performing these nonteaching jobs.
Lockridge's proposal comes at a time when School Superintendent Vincent E. Reed has recommended laying off several hundred teachers to deal with an anticipated $27-million budget deficit in the next school year.
Lockridge and at least three other board members have said they favor cutting the system's administrative staff of associate superintendents and supervisors, rather than eliminating teaching jobs.
"It's absurd to think you can improve test scores and the total delivery of education in this city by moving upward, not downward in the pupil teacher ratio," Lockridge said.
In a package he sent to the board last week on proposed budget cuts for the 1980-81 school year, Reed recommended incrreasing the pupil-teacher ratio from 26-1 to 28-1 in grades one through six.
Reed also proposed eliminating 900 jobs -- 700 of them teaching positions. The superintendennt has maintained, however, that half the teaching jobs could be eliminated through attrition.
Lockridge also said he will ask the school board's attorney to look at a proposal to eliminate tenure for all school system employes in administrative and supervisory positions so that these employes would be on a merit system.
Lockridge said such a move would "revitalize the delivery of educational services" in the District. Another school official said Lockridge is also interested in ridding the system of its "dead weight."
The board president also said he will propose that the board move to make the chief job of the system's 141 "resource teachers" the training and supervising of classroom teachers. Currently, resource teachers perform a variety of duties in the schools, from serving as assistant principals to hall monitoring, and substituting for absent teachers.
The school system does not keep recoreds of how many teachers are performing nonteaching duties, according to Ransellear Shorter, director of the office of management services.
Shorter said he had no reason to believe great numbers of teachers were performing other jobs.
Whatever cuts the school board finally decides to make, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the members plan to concentrate on reducing administrative staff. The board's educational assessment and development committee already has voted to eliminate the system's six regional offices.
Each of these offices is headed by assistant superintendents and each has a plentiful staff. The offices were opened to bring the school's central administration closer to the communities it serves, but the overall success of the regions is in dispute.
Alaire B. Rieffel, chairperson of the education committee, said the system could save $1.6 million by eliminating the regions and tranferring the staffs elsewhere. It costs about $4 million a year to keep the regions running, Lockridge said.
The superintendent himself has recommended cutting 30 positions from the system's central administrative office at 415 12th St. NW and 40 positions in the regional offices.
Instead of having six regional superintendents, Lockridge has proposed having assistant superintendents for the elementary and secondary level schools, and creating a new position, assistant superintendent for community and student services.