Newport school board members are continuing to debate the proposed budget for the 2016-17 fiscal school year after holding three meetings over the span of the last week.
The proposed $17.8-million dollar budget is up more than half a million dollars from Newport’s current school budget, and includes a new $223-thousand-dollar contract for the district’s teachers.
The contract passed through the board unanimously on Friday, granting teachers a 1.5-percent pay increase on top of other step increases.
Residents of Newport would see an approximate $1.25 increase per thousand dollar property assessment, if voters are to approve the proposed budget in March. Board members warn that if the budget is voted down in favor the default budget, the district would be forced to reduce its educational staff by nearly 20 percent.
The Newport School Board will next meet Jan. 7 at the high school following a concert from the band and chorus.