ROCKLAND — The Rockland area school board will meet Thursday evening, April 28, to hear the superintendent’s budget presentation.

The Regional School Unit 13 Board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the South School in Rockland.

A public input session on the proposed budget will then be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3, via Zoom. The meeting ID number is 87164506319 and the passcode is 5962001 for the May 3 meeting.

All meetings are streamed live.

At an April 5 meeting of the RSU 13 Finance and Facilities Committee, Business Manager Peter Orne presented a preliminary budget that would have increased spending by 6.7% but the added amount property owners will have to pay out for education will be limited to 4% because of increased state aid.

The projected increase was based on the current number of staff, an expected 5% increase in pay, an 8% increase in the costs of benefits, and a whopping 70% jump in fuel costs. The district is still negotiating with teachers, so a set pay increase has not yet been determined.

The full board is tentatively expected to take a final vote on the package Thursday, May 5. A public budget forum will be held later in May and whatever package is approved at that meeting will be on the June 14 ballot in Rockland, Thomaston, Cushing, Owls Head and South Thomaston for a yes or no vote on ratifying the budget. Anyone who is a registered voter of the five municipalities may attend and vote at the May budget forum and vote at the referendum.

The 2021-2022 budget was approved by voters at $33.3 million.