CLARENCE, N.Y. - Homeowners in one of the top-ranked school districts in the region are facing a nearly double-digit tax increase.
When it comes to public schools, Clarence has long had some of the region's finest, yet even in this relatively affluent, second-ring suburb, a financial storm appears to be gathering.
"It has become increasingly difficult to continue to make reductions," Clarence Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks said to a packed auditorium of students, parents, and property-tax payers Monday night. "We think we've reached the limit this year."
Hicks said that unfunded state and federal mandates are squeezing the district's finances tighter and tighter. Consequently, his proposed budget calls for the elimination of nearly 30 teaching positions as well as certain school programs like family and consumer sciences. Plus, it calls for a tax levy hike of about 10 percent (9.8%).
Students pleaded with the board to stop the cuts.