The following were among actions taken at the June 28 meeting of the Prince George's County Board of Education. For more information, call 952-6005.
SCHOOL BUDGET APPROVED -- The board passed a $552.8 million budget for fiscal 1991, a $508.3 million, or 12.4 percent, increase over last year's budget. The spending plan includes a $10,000 raise for Schools Superintendent John Murphy, which pushes his salary to $120,000 a year, making him the highest paid school chief in the region.
Murphy, who is approaching the third year of a four-year contract, has said he will remain with the county school system, but the raise was seen by some board members as a greater enticement for him to stay.
Because the County Council approved a school budget that was $8 million less than school officials had sought, the spending plan adopted by the School Board calls for shrinking or eliminating some programs and initiatives. The changes include the following:A plan to add two clerical positions in every elementary school during the next three years will instead be phased in over six years. A proposed expansion of the science curriculum in the elementary schools was scrapped, while improvements in the curriculum at the county's two science and technology high schools, Eleanor Roosevelt and Oxon Hill, will go forward. A plan to increase the school system's staff for special education will be scaled back, with a reduction in the number of proposed additional full-time interpreters and tutors, as well as instructional aide positions.
An achievement plan designed to help increase the number of black males graduating from the county's schools was funded at the full request of $2 million.
In other business, the board approved an emergency request of $11.4 million to renovate and build an addition to Forestville High School.
The board gave preliminary approval to an application for a $160,863 grant from the Maryland State Department of Education that would enable the school system to keep handicapped students within the local schools rather than placing them in out-of-state schools. The grant, which would save the county school system $78,680, would fund the salaries of a teacher and an instructional aide at H. Winship Wheatley Special Center and instructional aides at Duckworth Special Center and Tanglewood Special Center. School officials have said that without the funds, some students with special needs would have to be placed in programs out of state.
Board members also approved the assignment of 30 non-black students attending magnet schools, in kindergarden through sixth grade, to Tayac Elementary School, beginning in the fall. The transfer was granted after the board determined that Tayac's student body is nearly 81 percent black, outside the 10 percent to 80 percent ratio mandated by Maryland desegration laws.
In addition, the board approved a partnership with Johns Hopkins University to develop multi-media materials for handicapped students. The school system recently received a $12,324 grant from Johns Hopkins to fund the project.