School board to vote on budget, union contract

COSTA MESA — The Newport-Mesa Unified school board on Tuesday night is slated to vote on a final $255-million budget that maintains programs and employee salaries.

Nearly 85%, or $198.8 million, of the budget consists of employee salaries and benefits.

The two categories of employees, however, for a second year will not receive cost-of-living increases, according to budget documents.

Teacher, supervisor and administrator salaries are budgeted at nearly $102.7 million, and $43.7 million has been allocated for classified employees, a category that includes instructional aides, nurses and nutrition service workers.

Employee benefits make up about 22% of the budget, and although employees began contributing toward their benefits last year, district costs have increased.

The budget takes into account a nearly $12-million "fair-share reduction" Newport-Mesa lost from the state. The reduction is meant to even the playing field between basic aid districts like N-MUSD and other districts, which have fared worse in the budget cuts.

Basic aid districts rely on revenue from local property taxes to fund the mandated per-student amount.

Although the district is required to pass its 2011-12 budget, it is unknown whether more cuts will come down from the state, thus requiring future adjustments at the local level.

Districts could face further cuts midyear if the state doesn't receive the $4 billion in new revenues it counted on in its budget.

In other business, the school board is also slated to vote on a one-year contract with the teachers union.

The 2011-12 contract between the district and the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers includes no salary increases, but increases the amount the district contributes toward employee benefits from $14,055 to $15,309.

The contract also caps the number of students in online classes at 180.

The union's contract expired June 30 and was open to negotiations, which began in March.

Trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Roderick H. MacMillian Board Room at the District Education Center, 2985 A Bear St.

To see the full contract changes, go to

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