Weekly Feature

2012-02-29 / Education

School budget workshop planned for Saturday

Clarence Central School District will hold its third workshop on the 2012-13 school budget at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 3, in the Clarence Middle School auditorium, 10150 Greiner Road. The meeting follows a community forum in November and two previous budget workshops in January and February.

To date, three budget drafts have been presented to the Board of Education. The first draft was a program maintenance, or rollover, budget, that had no decrease in spending and would result in a 10.3 percent increase in the tax levy.

Draft 2 reduced spending by $2 million, approximately $1 million in non-personnel-related cuts and $1 million in personnel reductions. The estimated tax levy increase would be 4.9 percent, about 2 percent above the property tax levy limit.

Budget Draft 3 added an additional $790,000 in personnel reductions, for a total of $2.77 million in spending cuts. The estimated tax levy increase would be at the tax levy limit of 2.8 percent.

The March budget workshop will be divided into three sections. First, Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks will provide responses to questions that have been generated by the Board of Education and community since the last budget workshop. Next, the superintendent will present the formal three-part budget for 2012-13 and explain the longer-term, two- to three-year budget challenges. The last section of the budget workshop will be devoted to Board of Education discussion, including consideration of decisions regarding tax levy and program.

As always, public comment and feedback will be solicited during the budget workshop. The Board of Education is committed to an open and transparent process when constructing the 2012-13 budget, according to information from the district.

A regular meeting of the Clarence Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, March 12, in the lecture hall at Clarence High School. Time is allotted at the beginning of each meeting to allow public comment on the school budget.

An open community forum is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at a location to be announced. The forum is the last formal opportunity for public input before the adoption of the proposed budget by the Board of Education on April 16.

An online budget input tool will remain available at www.ClarenceSchools.org until the budget is put before voters on May 15.

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