CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Tuesday night a record number, more than 8,200 voters, cast their ballot over the Clarence School District budget and rejected it. Now it's time for plan B. Clarence School Board members have to go back to the drawing board to decide what proposal they'll submit to the public next.
>> The included Report It Photo expresses the outrage some voters were feeling over a proposed 9.8 percent tax hike for the Clarence School District.
Clarence parent Chris Brophy said, "This is great that we have so many people out. We're all passionate but we need to work together."
In a letter from the Clarence superintendent, it states that the school board could resubmit the same budget proposal or a new one for residents to vote on. If the second budget has a levy limit at 3.8 percent they would need to get 50 percent of the voters approval. However, the district would need to make additional spending cuts, equivalent to 37 staff reductions. If a budget with no levy increase passes, the district would need to make even more spending reductions, equivalent to 60 additional staff reductions.
This has been a hot topic in Clarence for weeks. Some people are for the tax increase.
Clarence parent Claudia Tryjankowski said, "Our kids are the future of tomorrow. We need to respect that and we really, really, really, need to give them the best chance they can get in the best school that they can possibly have."
Others that voted ‘no' say the first budget would have increased taxes too much.
Clarence resident Michael Hackford said, "I don't know how we can in good conscience continue to raise our taxes, when if you look at the common person, we're not getting increases at work or we're getting minimal increases. I just think everybody needs to tighten their belt."
Voters also rejected the Niagara Wheatfield budget vote. The district only needed four additional votes to pass it. School board members will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the next steps. Residents will vote on the next budget on June 18th.
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