Restore Teachers, Staff, and Programs
This petition made change with 651 supporters!
We, the undersigned, are Clarence taxpayers, students, alumni, and teachers. We believe that the excellent quality and unique cost-effectiveness of our school system are unique and worth protecting. We're informed; we know that Albany has withheld $16 million state aid from the district, and that the equivalent of 113 full-time employees have been let go in the last several years.
The 2013 budget crisis was unprecedented and resulted in palpable harm to the quality and reputation of our district. That should never be repeated.
Although this year's tax levy cap is estimated to be 4.7%, we understand that the district intends to raise the levy by 3.9%, thanks to increased state aid. At the last budget workshop, it was estimated that 5-7 positions might be restored. We have learned that, thanks to this year's state aid figures, Superintendent Hicks will recommend that the board restore about 11 lost positions.
In the past several years, class sizes have increased, the elementary schools have no full-time on-site librarians, and we have lost teachers and electives, all to the students' detriment. The Home and Careers Department was completely eliminated. The high school lost a guidance counselor. Peer Group Connections (a peer group of seniors paired with freshman) was eliminated. We lost the elementary enrichment programs a decade ago.
How are we promoting our district's excellence through lost programs and staff?
We respectfully ask that the school board respect and protect the taxpayers' investment in our community and schools, and restore as many positions as possible.
Our tax rate of $14.79/$1000 of assessed value is among the lowest in the state, and we obtain some of the best results anywhere. While we understand that there is a great deal of taxpayer fatigue, we're also sick and tired of cuts that adversely affect our community and kids.
You were elected to be trustees of our great district, and you owe the taxpayers, parents, students, teachers, and administrators a fiduciary duty cost-effectively to maintain the excellence of our schools. Doing so responsibly protects our investment in our homes.
Our district has lost a lot over the past decade. It's time to begin the restoration.
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