CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Voters in Clarence rejected a 9.8 percent tax increase back in May. But the new district budget still calls for a slight tax increase and puts teaching jobs on the chopping block.
Monday night was the last public meeting before taxpayers vote on a revised school budget. This plan calls for a 3.62 percent tax increase and has $2.45 million in additional reductions for the district.
Things were heated at the meeting, with one woman standing up and shouting at the school board, "You all are bullies!" Her cries were met with applause among audience members.
School officials broke down additional cuts that will be needed in order to cut $2.45 million from the original budget that was defeated last month. Around half of the extracurricular clubs at the high school and middle school would be cut. Nearly 54 positions in the district would be lost, with 33 of those being teaching and administrative jobs.
The school board is now asking voters to approve a 3.62 percent tax increase, which is slightly under the tax cap. The budget that lost would have raised taxes almost 10 percent.
Clarence Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks said, "Being slightly under is the most prudent financially responsible thing to do."
The board says it can't risk losing another budget and going under the tax cap is the least risky approach at this point.
Parent Chris Kausner added, "The board is in a very difficult position they are doing their best and the reality is in spite of all the angst and anger that there is in town this board in this school district has year after year after year performed in a way that could only be described as exemplary."
The vote takes place on June 18 from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. School officials say there will be more machines ordered to shorten the wait time for voters.
The re-vote budget will need 50 percent plus one votes in order to pass.
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