Maryland schools could lose between $70 million and $80 million in the next two years through proposed federal budget cuts, according to Maryland's superintendent of schools, with Montgomery and Prince George's among the hardest hit.
Beginning in October, Montgomery County could lose $4.3 million--34 percent of the federal funds it received in 1981--and is one of three school districts losing that much. The county could lose another $1.37 million the following year.
Prince George's could lose $5.9 million, 27 percent of the federal dollars it received in 1981, and could lose 23 percent, or $3.75 million in 1983--the highest percentage of any school district in the state for that year.
State Superintendent David Hornbeck blasted the cuts as a "continuing callous assault on public education and on the poor and handicapped in particular." The cuts must be approved by Congress before they would take effect.
The Reagan proposals hit hardest at programs receiving the most federal dollars, including impact aid, handicapped services, school meal programs and programs for the "educationally deprived," students with low achievement from low-income schools.
State education officials calculate that programs for the educationally deprived would lose one-third of their federal money, which they predicted could end services to 23,000 children and cause the layoff of 1,200 teachers and aides.
Programs for the handicapped would shrink by 32 percent, the officials said, which could trim services to 8,400 handicapped school children, 5,000 preschool children, 700 infants and 2,200 severely handicapped children.
The first impact on local budgets will be felt in the next school year, said Ken Hill, budget director for Montgomery County schools, who said the county could get $500,000 less of the $2 million in handicapped education dollars it received this year. Superintendent Edward Andrews has asked the county to pay the difference.
But other programs may not fare as well, Hill noted. Several smaller programs, such as $160,000 program to help Indo-Chinese refugees, are scheduled to be dropped under the county's school budget. A similar program in Prince George's could lose its total budget of $108,000.
Prince George's schools are slated to lose $1 million in federal funds for special education. Those funds paid for 39 teachers and therapists. Although the school board has asked the county to pay the difference, County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan already has said the county cannot afford to pay for the budget the school board has requested.