About 25 voters from Regional School Unit 71 towns approved the district's draft 2018-19 budget without changes at the May 21 public budget meeting.

The proposed $27,021,744 bottom line is down roughly $188,000 from last year. That savings is likely to be nullified by increased property values, which translate to less state funding. The Legislature has yet to approve the state budget, but preliminary figures from Department of Education show that RSU 71 would get $383,000 less in the coming year, resulting in a net increase to local property taxpayers.

On June 12, the budget goes to voters in Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Searmont and Swanville for final approval.

Other school districts around Waldo County will hold their own public budget meetings in the coming weeks.

RSU 3 meets 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, in the Mount View Middle School gym. RSU 20 meets 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at Searsport District High School. RSU 25 meets 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, at the Bucksport Middle School performing arts center. RSU 22 meets 7 p.m. Monday, June 4, at Hampden Academy.