MARYLAND

Prince George's $2.4B budget approved, could avert teacher layoffs

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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - The Prince George's County Council has approved a $2.7 billion budget that slightly reduces education spending but could avert teacher layoffs.

The budget also freezes wages for county workers but will give them a one-time bonus of $750. For council members, the budget includes a raise. The previous council had voted to raise their $96,000 salaries at a rate tied to the consumer price index.

In the budget approved Thursday, school funding would decline about $13 million from the current year. Still, County Executive Rushern Baker and the council added about $18 million more than expected earlier for the schools.

School board Chairman Verjeana Jacobs did not rule out layoffs for administrators but said teachers probably would be exempt. Earlier this year, officials were predicting 600 teacher layoffs.

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