Clarence Parents Face Big Budget Cuts

June 10, 2013 Updated Jun 10, 2013 at 11:39 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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June 10, 2013 Updated Jun 10, 2013 at 11:39 PM EDT

Clarence, NY (WKBW) - Teachers, sports and clubs are all on the chopping block, as the Clarence School Board grapples with a $2.45 million budget cut.

This comes after Clarence residents voted down the previous proposed budget in May, which included a 9.8-percent tax increase.

The school board says this new proposed budget meets the district's "budgetary needs," but not the "educational needs" of Clarence students.

"They feel as if the community isn't supporting them," says Amy Major, a parent of Clarence Central School District students. "It's coming down to the kids."

"My son is very involved with the music program, he sings with a number of the groups," adds fellow parent Cathy Wilde. "He just lost two of his teachers. They aren't just teachers, they're mentors."

The new proposal includes a 3.7-percent tax increase, along with deep cuts.

More than 30 teaching positions will be removed, along with more than 20 administrative positions.

Nearly 40 after school clubs will be cut, including the Drama Club, Future Business Club and several community service organizations. Modified and freshman sports are also on the chopping block.

Outraged parents and community members met with the school board at Clarence High School on Monday evening.

However, one woman defended the community's vote that defeated the first budget.

"We have to look forward, and we have to find long term solutions," says Lisa Thrun, with Citizens for Sustainable Schools. If we're not saving money, our kids are going to get cut -- and we don't want that. We want to sustain the quality of schools."

Thrun now supports the new budget proposal. However, she also suggests teachers pay more for their health benefits to save money, have older teachers retire to make room for other educators to keep their jobs, and fight certain state mandated programs.

Parents now want the latest budget passed to prevent even more drastic cuts. According to Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks, a failed budget would mean more cuts in sports, music and Advanced Placement classes.

The proposed budget will go to a vote in Clarence on June 18th.