The Lake Oswego School Board announced Monday night that members of the Lake Oswego Education Association approved a new two-year employment contract with the district.

The key features of the contract that will be effective July 1 include:

* No cost of living salary increases and no step increases for the first year (2011-12).

* Potential cost of living increases depending on significant increases in district resources from the state and local option revenues.

* The basic medical plan will provide coverage for employees in an expanded medical benefits cost sharing arrangement what will be cost neutral to the district.

'This is a class act,' Bill Korach, superintendent, said. 'The teachers are very respectful of what we are trying to accomplish. We are very, very pleased and appreciative.

'I have negotiated every contract for 24 years, and this was a tough one because these are tough conditions.'

Also at Monday night's school board meeting, the board approved a $58.7 million budget for the 2011-12 school year.

The new budget includes the closure of Palisades Elementary School, but it does not have any specified employee lay-offs. However, the district will not be re-hiring to fill 14 positions vacated by retirements or departures.

Discussion of the budget issues had already been held during the past months as it has been presented to the board in phases. Therefore, the budget was unanimously approved as presented with little to no discussion.

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