BEL AIR -- Harford County School Superintendent Ray R. Keech submitted last night a proposed $153 million budget for the 1991-1992 school year, almost $26 million more than this year's spending plan.
The 20.4 percent spending increase Dr. Keech proposed would produce the largest school budget in county history, although Harford would rank near the bottom among the state's 24 subdivisions in spending per pupil.
The budget calls for hiring 148 new teachers, seven assistant principals, four more guidance counselors and 22 other support personnel to keep pace with rising enrollment. The county, which now has 31,500 students, expects 33,102 next fall.
Instructional salaries once again make up the largest chunk of the budget. Dr. Keech is requesting $85 million -- $14 million more than this year -- to help pay for an 8 percent pay raise for the county's nearly 1,800 teachers.
The raise is the last one in a previously negotiated, three-year contract. Teachers' salaries rose 7.8 percent this year.
Spending on special education would increase by more than $2 million. The money would pay for hiring almost 15 special education teachers and 12 instructional assistants, as well as supplies, materials and equipment for the county's 200 special education students at the John Archer School.
An additional $4.2 million was requested in instructional costs, such as new textbooks and other materials. Funding increases of almost $2 million each were also requested for school plant operations and student transportation.