Prince George's Co. Schools Slash 800 Jobs

Bus service also falls victim to budget cuts

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    The Prince George's County school district cuts $45 million from budget.

    Thousands of Prince George's County students will be in bigger classrooms this fall, and some of their favorite teachers will be gone thanks to major budget cuts approved by the Board of Education Saturday.

    School board members approved plans to cut $45 million from the budget by a vote of 7 to 1. The cuts means 800 people in the school district will lose their jobs -- more than 350 teachers and teacher aides positions will be eliminated.

    Fewer teachers translate into bigger class sizes. Class sizes currently average 27 students. The new plan would call for up to two more students per class on every level except pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Some parents are concerned that more students will mean less attention on individualized education.

    Also part of the plan, school employees who don’t lose their jobs will lose money. Workers will have to take up to two weeks of furlough leave.

    Some bus service for school specialty programs will also be cut. Parents can also expect a hike in school lunch prices, as much as 50 cents more.

    School boards members say there could be more cuts in the future. They plan to send the budget to the county Monday.

    Board members said they were forced to make cuts due to a drastic drop in county, state and federal stimulus funding.