LOWELL -- Superintendent of Schools Jean Franco informed the School Committee Monday morning she has accepted its offer of a new two-year deal.

Franco's new deal would go into effect July 1, as her current pact was set to expire at the end of this month.

The School Committee has yet to publicly vote on the new pact, but is expected to do so at its next regular meeting June 18.

Franco would be paid an annual salary of no less than $175,992.50 and eligible for a 1 percent cost-of-living increase, according to the terms of the deal Franco accepted.

Franco will also be eligible for a merit raise each year based on the School Committee's evaluation of her.

If she achieves a performance rating of "proficient," Franco will receive a 2 percent pay increase.

Franco will receive a 3 percent pay increase if she receives a performance rating of "exemplary."

The superintendent will receive a monthly travel allowance of $300 in lieu of a mileage reimbursement, among other terms of the pact, according to sources.

Franco did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

Committee member Jim Leary said he was pleased Franco agreed to the contract, though he declined to divulge the details of the pact.

"Jean has done a good job," said Leary. "We will keep moving the school system forward."

Leary said there is a lot of work to be done to complete the annual budget, address special-education costs and make sure a strong group of principals is selected.

Mayor Rodney Elliott, chairman of the School Committee, and committee member Kristin Ross-Sitcawich declined to comment on the contract before the School Committee's public vote.

Franco was selected as superintendent in April 2011 to replace the outgoing Chris Scott and tenure as superintendent began in July 2011.

Her starting salary as superintendent was $170,000, and her initial deal called for her to be eligible for a percentage increase in pay in the third year of the contract if the United Teachers of Lowell received an increase during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Franco came to Lowell in 1996 as a Spanish bilingual facilitator, a role she continued in until being named assistant superintendent for Student Support Services in 2002.

Meanwhile, the School Committee is still working to finalize its budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Last Thursday, the committee voted 4-3 to send the budget back to the school administration because it did not include any designated funds to pay for new potential collective-bargaining agreements. Union contracts expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

Committee member David Conway, who filed the motion to send the budget back, said the committee asked for the administration to come up with $1.5 million that can be cut and put in a suspense account to cover any raises awarded in collective-bargaining contracts.

"That does not mean the $1.5 million will go to raises, but at least you have freed up some money you can utilize if necessary," Conway said Monday. "With the budget right now, there is no flexibility."

Joining Conway in support of his motion were Elliott and members Kimberly Scott and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich.

Voting in opposition were members Stephen Gendron, Connie Martin and Leary.

"I wanted to simply begin the budget discussion and vote on specific line items," Leary said Monday.

He also said if the committee did not find other areas of the budget to re-allocate to pay for any collective-bargaining increase, they could then ask for additional recommendations from the School Department.

City Manager Kevin Murphy has proposed to the City Council in his budget that the city's cash contribution to the public schools should increase from $14.46 million to $17.36 million, a $2.9 million or 20 percent increase. The state's contribution to city schools is increasing by $5.2 million.

The City Council will begin its budget deliberations Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Follow Moran on Twitter @lylemoran.