Prince William County

The following were among actions the Sept. 19 meeting of the Prince William County School Board. For more information call 791-8720.

STATE FUNDS -- Superintendent of Schools Edward L. Kelly reported that, despite an announced decrease in state funding, Prince William schools will receive $633,000 more from the state this fiscal year than school officials calculated last spring because of reductions in the amount of money the schools are required to contribute to state retirement and life insurance plans for public employees.

Earlier this month, Gov. L. Douglas Wilder announced a series of cuts in state funding to jurisdictions to help offset a projected $1.4 billion deficit. But he also raised the projected yield of the state's retirement and life insurance plans for this fiscal year, which began July 1, enabling lower required payments to the two funds by school systems and local governments.

Prince William schools had expected to contribute almost $19 million to the retirement and life insurance plans, according to a school official. Now, the schools will pay almost $2.4 million less to the two funds this fiscal year. The state is expected to keep about $1.8 million of that amount and return about $633,000 to Prince William schools.

Nervous about deeper cuts to come in state funding, the board, in a separate action, decided to postpone plans to remove asbestos and install air conditioning at Coles Elementary and the Independent Hill School until budget priorities for fiscal 1992 are reviewed. The School Board will begin working on that budget this winter.

NIGHT SCHOOL -- In an effort to help reduce the drop-out rate among county students, the board approved plans to offer a limited number of courses, such as English and math, at Stonewall Jackson and Potomac high schools.

Under the program, which will be offered four nights a week beginning Oct. 20, a student can enroll for up to two courses in each 15-week class period. Classes will run from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

The night classes will be free to students not currently enrolled in daytime classes, but students enrolled in day classes will be charged $120 per course. Out-of-county high school students and adults 20 and older who live in the county will be charged $160 per course; out-of-county adults 20 and older must pay $200.

School officials said the tuition fees should cover at least half of the cost of the program, which is not expected to exceed $65,000.

The night-school program was recommended by Tommy Carter, the coordinator for alternative education, as a way to help reduce the schools' drop-out rate. Last year, about 3 1/2 percent of all seventh through 12th-grade students in the county -- about 600 students -- dropped out of school, according to a school official.

Carter said the program will be convenient for students who are now unwilling or unable to attend night classes outside the county, or to attend summer school or stay in school another year to receive a diploma.