The Howard County Education Association, which also represents counselors, interpreters and secretaries, voted "overwhelmingly" to ratify the agreement, according to a statement.
School officials said that under the tentative agreement, eligible HCEA employees will receive the equivalent of a half-step pay increment in fiscal year 2012, amounting to an average pay increase of about 1.5 percent.
The second half of the step would be provided at the start of fiscal year 2013. The tentative agreements do not include cost-of-living adjustments.
Schools superintendent Sydney Cousin said in a statement that the agreement avoids layoffs and furloughs due in part to cost-saving measures by the school system.
In the statement, HCEA president Paul Lemle lauded the collaborative effort during tough economic times.