MIAMI -

The Miami-Dade School Board approved a budget proposal by Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho for the 2014-2015 school year.

School officials said the budget protects teachers and the classroom with an increase in school spending of $43 million and a reduction in administrative spending of $5 million, down 57 percent since 2008.

The budget protects taxpayers by lowering the tax rate and continues to expand Exceptional Student Education support and parental choice options, in addition to protecting the economic viability of the school system, according to Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Carvalho credited the school district's financial position to careful debt service management.

"This is a budget that serves students, parents and the community," said Carvalho. "It maximizes learning opportunities for students and protects the taxpayer by lowering the tax rate."

What the budget does not do, according to district officials, is harm elective programs, reduce district reserves, increase tax millage or reduce athletics and after-school activities.

"Protecting teachers and advancing the needs of our students are the values that define the budget approved by this Board," said School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman.

A final budget hearing will be held September 3, 2014.