Clarence, NY (WKBW) - A storm of controversy emerged inside of Clarence High School on Tuesday night, as school officials laid out a new budget for residents to vote on.
Last week, voters turned down the proposed budget, that would have increased taxes by nearly 10-percent. The vote failed by a two-to-one margin.
It's the first school budget defeat in Clarence in 25 years. That is something James Murphy, who helped defeat the first budget proposal is proud of.
"We were looking for it to be reduced," Murphy said amongst jeers from the crowd. "The only way we could do it was by getting a no vote on it. They're starting a new process, it's going to be 3.7%."
However, to reach that lower tax hike, the Clarence School Board had to cut an additional $2.4 million, on top of the $1.8 already cut.
The additional cuts will send a total of 54 positions, mostly teachers, to the chopping block. Nine modified sports teams and all freshman sports teams will be eliminated. More than half of extra curricular activities will disappear. Art and music programs will be slashed too.
"I don't understand," said Alan Bedenko, who supported the first budget proposal. "I'm curious to find out - how do you cut your way to excellence? How do you cut your way from being number two to being number one? Because that should be the goal. Being number one should be the goal."
Clarence residents will head back to the polls, to vote on this budget plan on June 18th.