Portland’s teachers have agreed to a contract that contains some lessons appropriate to a class in current economic conditions. The school board will vote on it next week.

Every Mainer has had to confront the hard facts of an economy barely out of recession. So it’s not surprising that local teachers have approved, with 92 percent in favor, a three-year contract that will save the city’s school district $910,000 in wages and might preserve some of the 60 positions being considering for elimination.

The teachers also agreed to letting longevity pay, in the form of “step increases,” lapse until the 2012-13 school year and extend the time between raises for professional development from three years to four.

In a move that creates a real value-added bonus for students, the new contract also expands the school year by five days, from 175 to 180, by converting three professional development days to classroom days and adding two more without an increase in compensation.

The quid pro quo for that was that teachers got the city to add nonbinding language promising to bring them into discussions about decisions that affect student learning — a category that could be as broad or as narrow as either side makes it.

Calling the new contract “transformational” and a “template for school systems across the country,” Superintendent Jim Morse said respect for teachers and emphasis on student achievement were at the center of the new pact’s features.

The board said that when it meets on April 5 and votes on the contract, it also will consider using some of the nearly $2.5 million the city is saving on salaries and through staff retirements to restore positions and programs dropped from recent budgets.

The overall budget, which is set to be presented to the City Council on April 11, will be put up for a citywide vote on May 10. Councilors will undoubtedly be concerned that it would add 1.8 percent to the city’s tax rate, and that’s not inconsiderable, so more cuts may be coming.

But it appears the city’s teachers have done their part to help make ends meet.