PORTLAND — The City Council on Monday voted unanimously to endorse a $94.2 million school budget, despite misgivings by some councilors about what they say are excessive pay increases to teachers.

City voters will decide whether to approve the budget on May 15.

Some councilors made it clear they are unhappy with an overall increase in teacher salaries of 4.5 percent in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

“My concern is the disparity of what the city is being able to offer its workers and what the schools are offering its work force,” said Council Ed Suslovic.

Councilor David Marshall echoed Suslovic’s concerns and noted that pay increases the City Council has been negotiating with its various unions are likely to be 1 percent to 1.5 percent, depending on the length of the contract.

He said the pay increases for teachers are larger than those in the private sector, both locally and nationally.

“Nobody is getting increases like that,” he said in an interview after the meeting.

The teacher salary growth is due to step increases and raises awarded for obtaining additional academic training, so-called “lane changes,” according to a contract agreement between the district and the Portland Education Association. The contract covers from Sept. 1, 2011, to Aug. 31, 2014.

The contract calls for a starting salary of $35,509 for a teacher with limited experience and the district’s minimum academic requirements. A teacher with 31 years’ experience will make $60,535.

But teachers who get additional credit for taking approved courses can earn a pay increase of roughly $9,000. A veteran teacher on the top step with the maximum number of educational credits would be paid $86,037.

Superintendent Jim Morse noted that teachers in the current fiscal year had no pay increase of any kind, including steps and lane changes. The teachers’ contract also calls for extending the school year by five additional days, to 197 days.

Pay for principals and administrators in fiscal 2013 will increase 3 percent.

In all, the school budget for the 2012-2013 school year would increase school spending by 3.9 percent.

The combined school and city budgets would increase Portland’s property-tax rate by 2.9 percent, or 54 cents, from $18.28 per $1,000 valuation to $18.82. For a home assessed at $200,000, taxes would increase $108.

City voters on May 15 will decide whether to support the budget. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

School Board chair Kate Snyder said she is optimistic that voters will approve the budget.

Mayor Michael Brennan said the city since 2009 has lost $12 million in state and federal money, and that Portland taxpayers have made up $7 million of the difference. Cuts, including the elimination of more than 100 school department positions, accounted for the rest.

“This is a catch-up year and an opportunity to get our school system back where we should be financially,” he said.

Morse will give an overview of the school budget in a public access television show produced by students in the New Media program at Portland Arts and Technology High School.

The show will be broadcast live at 9 a.m. Wednesday on TV3, Portland’s education station, and rebroadcast several times, including at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at: [email protected]