Residents of Rockland, Thomaston, St. George, Owls Head, South Thomaston and Cushing have an opportunity Wednesday, June 1 to get answers about the proposed school budget for the upcoming year.

An informational meeting for the public is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 1 at the McLain School at the intersection of Summer and Lincoln streets in Rockland.

The $25,948,205 spending plan for 2011-2012, which represents about a 2 percent increase from the approved 2010-2011 budget, will face a public vote 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 8 at Rockland District High School auditorium. At the June 8 meeting, any registered voters of Regional School Unit 13 can attend, make motions to change the budget, and vote on the package.

Then on Tuesday, June 14, residents will be able to go to the polls and vote yes or no on the amount approved at the June 8 meeting. Absentee ballots will be available starting June 9.

The budget calls for six fewer teaching positions and reducing or consolidating four administrative positions. But no layoffs of teachers are expected because of the expected retirement of at least seven teachers following an incentive package offered by the district.

Two of the positions to be eliminated were paid for through federal stimulus money. Four other posts are being cut due to changes in the allied art program associated with the restructuring of schools and programs expected for next year.

Rockland will have to raise $7,207,099, an increase of 4 percent if the budget is approved as currently recommended. Thomaston will have to raise $3,100,968, up 1 percent.

St. George will have to raise $4,017,838, a decrease of nearly 5 percent. Cushing will have to raise $2,550,578, a drop of nearly 4 percent. South Thomaston will have to raise $2,395,544, a drop of less than 1 percent. Owls Head will have to raise $2,261,958, a drop of 8 percent.

One major uncertainty on the expense side is pay. The district has no contracts in place for 2011-2012. The teacher contract, which accounts for the largest amount of personnel costs, expired in the summer of 2009. Under the current system, former SAD 50 teachers are paid less than their counterparts in the SAD 5 system.

If the budget is rejected, the board will consider whether to make changes and send it back to voters.