The Regional School Unit 13 board has scheduled a series of meetings to go over the proposed $26 million package that calls for significant job cuts.

Superintendent Judy Lucarelli unveiled the spending and revenue package on April 1.

The first review by the school board will be held Monday, April 5 at 6 p.m. Another session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7 at 6 p.m. More sessions are scheduled for Monday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 14, both starting at 6 p.m.

The meetings will all be held at the McLain School at the intersection of Summer and Lincoln streets.

Tentative approval of the budget is scheduled for Monday, April 26 at 6 p.m.

The formal approval of the budget that will go to the public is scheduled for Thursday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m.

This will be followed by informational meetings during the week of May 24. Dates have yet to be scheduled.

On Tuesday, June 1 at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at Rockland District High School, the district-wide public budget vote will be held. At this meeting, a majority of people at the hearing can make changes to the budget.

Then on Tuesday, June 8, the polls in the six communities of RSU 13 (Rockland, Thomaston, St. George, Owls Head, South Thomaston and Cushing) will be open and residents will decide on the one question on the ballot — whether to accept or reject the budget approved at the June 1 meeting.

If approved, the budget will go into effect. If it is rejected, the process will start again with the board to consider whether to make changes and then there will be a public meeting vote followed by another single-question referendum.

This process will continue until the budget is approved at a referendum.

As proposed by the superintendent, 21 teaching positions, more than 25 support staff positions, several administrative posts and 24 stipend jobs would be eliminated.

Despite reducing the budget by $2 million, Rockland and South Thomaston would have to raise substantially more in property taxes to pay for the education costs.

Rockland would have to pay an additional $500,000 in taxes for the $26 million budget, Lucarelli said. South Thomaston would have to raise about $250,000 more. Other communities would see a slight increase or would pay less. St. George, for example, would be taxed nearly $400,000 less in the next school year than during the current school year.

In addition to declining state revenues, the district emptied its surplus last year, sending balances to the community as part of the transition from school administrative districts to regional school units. These surpluses have been used previously to cushion increases in the budgets.