The Time has Come to put a STOP to School Cuts!

Concerned Clarence Citizens:

I'm writing today to let you know about a very exciting, and urgently important coalition that's forming called "Keep Clarence Schools Great." As you may know, our schools are yet again facing another round of disastrous cuts. The district is projecting a $3 million budget shortfall this year. Last year more than 30 staff positions were cut with a smaller deficit. Add on top of that the state's newly imposed 2% tax cap, and the situation starts to appear hopeless. Thankfully, it's not.

First off, the cap is a "soft" cap, meaning that if 60% of the community votes for a budget that exceeds the cap, it will get approved. Superintendent Hicks has stated that it may not be possible to maintain the integrity of our school system without exceeding the cap, but there is obvious push back from some members of the board and a small, but vocal corner of the public who want NO tax increase, (which would result in $5 million worth of cuts.)

It's time for concerned parents and citizens to mobilize and push for a budget that keeps cuts to an absolute minimum. With that, I would ask that you please email to get on our mailing list, and ask your friends and neighbors to do the same. The community needs to understand the full implications of another round of draconian cuts to school staff and programming, and also the relatively minor impact going above the cap would have on them financially. That's what Keep Clarence Schools Great aims to do; using fundraising, community outreach, and public pressure to put a stop to the bleeding.

Once we get a critical mass of people together, we'll get the ball rolling. But time is short. The budget vote is only a few months away so we need to move quickly, and get as much participation as possible.

To give you a little more background, I've included an excerpt from a letter submitted to the Clarence Bee. If you have any questions, please let me know. Otherwise, please consider joining this movement today. I hope to announce our first meeting by mid-February, and getting on the email list is the first step.

Thank you,
Brendan Biddlecom
Founder, Keep Clarence Schools Great