CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Clarence School District Officials have some tough choices to make ahead of them. The Clarence Central School District is once again trying to balance their budget. Monday night they will lay out the options for residents.
The district's superintendent Geoffrey Hicks says the school is facing a multi-million dollar budget deficit for the 2013- 2014 school year because state and federal aid has diminished, pension costs are rising and the district has a lot less in their fund balance to draw upon. He is encouraging the public to get involved with this.
In 2011, residents came to district meetings and voiced their opinion, raising property taxes and using surplus funds to fill in the hole.
Clarence parent Brendan Biddlecom said, "People move to Clarence because of the reputation of having very good schools. That has an impact of increased property values which brings in additional tax revenue and if that reputation begins to deteriorate somewhat, again you could be backtracking."
Since 2011, the district has cut about 60 positions, including 30 teacher positions, in order to balance the budget. Hicks says more jobs will be cut, but he isn't sure about how many.
Some residents said they're will willing to do whatever it takes to help the district meet its bottom line. Parent Maris Cox said, "I'm willing to have my taxes raised to not lose teachers, not lose programs that are really important to me and many other Clarence residents."
Clarence parent and teacher Michael Huttner said, "Every slice, every teacher that you take off is a slice against the quality that we have to offer here in Clarence."
Monday, school officials will lay out all of the options to close the budget gap at a meeting at the high school. Superintendent Hicks says he wants people to come and give their point of view, because he says tough decisions are ahead.
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