Shiprock — Central Consolidated School District board members voted Tuesday evening to approve the district's operational budget for the 2014-2015 school year.
The operational budget is projected to be about $58.63 million.
The largest sources of funding include the state Public Education Department, which is projected to provide about $29.91 million, and the federal government, which is projected to provide about $17.28 million in impact aid funding.
Board members Lupita White, Matthew Tso and Christina J. Aspaas voted in favor of the budget, and Hoskie Benally and Randy Manning voted to oppose it.
Both White and Tso attended the meeting by conference call because high winds prevented them from traveling to the meeting.
Prior to the vote, Benally said he did not approve of the budget because it contained a $15,000 salary increase for Superintendent Don Levinski.
"I'm still not in favor of it," Benally said.
In March, board members voted three in favor and two opposed to extend Levinski's contract to June 30, 2017, and give him a raise.
The extension of his contract and new salary, along with the budget, will be effective on July 1.
Andrea Tasan, the district's finance director, presented the budget to board members during a special board meeting at the Shiprock Board Room.
She noted key features of the operational budget allow the district to maintain classroom configurations and teaching staff.
It also supports students with programs such as counseling, athletics and activities, elementary fine arts, staff for school libraries, nursing and health aide support, and bilingual education.
Tasan highlighted that the budget would increase the number of teachers within the district by six, including adding a fourth-grade teacher at Eva B. Stokley Elementary School in Shiprock for its Diné Bi' Olta' Magnet Immersion program.
The Navajo immersion classes started in fall 2013 with kindergarten, first and second grades.
It expanded this year to include the third grade, followed by the fourth grade in fall 2014 and then the fifth grade the following year.
Another increase is the addition of a dean of students at Newcomb High School.
There was a decrease in the number of early childhood assistants because a vacancy was not filled and was eliminated, Tasan said.
After the meeting, Tasan said the budget will be submitted on Wednesday to the New Mexico Public Education Department.Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @nsmithdt on Twitter.