The Regional School Unit 13 School Board gave its final approval May 6 to a 2010-2011 budget that eliminates scores of positions and results in a tax hike for Rockland and South Thomaston.

The board’s vote means the proposed spending and revenue package will go to registered voters of Rockland, Thomaston, St. George, Owls Head, South Thomaston and Cushing at a district meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 1 at 6 p.m. in the Rockland District High School auditorium.

Board member Josiah Wilson of St. George said while he voted to send the budget to voters, he does not support it because of the plans to realign the schools and the uncertainty of what it means for the St. George School.

At this meeting, residents who attend can adopt the budget as recommended by the board, make additions or make cuts.

The budget crafted by the citizens on that night will then go to the polls in each community on Tuesday, June 8 in a one-question yes or no ballot. If the ballot is rejected, the process will start again with the board, a district public meeting vote, and a vote at the polls.

Superintendent Judy Lucarelli said there will also be a question on the June 8 ballot asking residents if they want to continue with this two-step voter approval process of the budget. The alternative would simply be the district meeting at which only residents who attended could vote.

The $26,090,701 is a decrease of $1,917,561 (7.3 percent) from the current 2009-2010 budget of $28,008,262. The budget eliminates 21 teaching positions, more than 25 support staff positions, several administrative posts and 24 stipend jobs.

The lack of surplus, however, and a reduction in state aid mean that more money would have to come from the district communities overall. Rockland would have to pay an additional $500,000 in taxes for the $26 million budget and 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.

The board has also scheduled informational meetings on the proposed budget. The meetings will be Monday, May 24 at 6 p.m. at the McLain School at the intersection of Lincoln and Summer streets in Rockland (this meeting will be televised on education access Channel 11), and Tuesday, May 25 at 6 p.m. at Georges Valley High School in Thomaston.