It's a tug of war over money with Clarence students caught in the middle.

Clarence Divided Over Tax Levy

May 17, 2013 Updated May 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

...
May 17, 2013 Updated May 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM EDT

The Clarence Central School District simply can't keep up with rising pension costs, special education costs and healthcare costs, the three fastest growing expenses in its budget and the upcoming vote on the 9.8 percent tax levy has divided the community.

The district is the latest school district buried under a budget deficit. For the 2013-14 school year the district is facing a $6.5 million shortfall.

In order to cut costs employees are already self-funding their healthcare, the district has been dipping into its reserve funds that are now depleted, and eliminated almost 90 positions in the past three years but that's still not enough.

The new budget now calls for cutting 14.5 teaching positions and 10 non-teaching positions and a 9.8 percent tax levy which would equal about a $350 a year jump on a home worth $250,000, a small price to pay for some parents.

But there's another school of thought in town that says the tax levy is too high and they're urging residents to vote 'no' on the budget calling the proposed tax hike excessive for the community's seniors, businesses, and families on fixed incomes.

The vote is coming up on May 21st. There are also two open school board seats which voters will pick their favorite candidates for.