Clarence budget vote May 15
The budget requires a majority vote for approval, and one could argue that it’s terms and specifics have never been more open to the public, a thought mirrored by the comments of incumbent board member John Semler, who remarked: “I think it’s been an open process unlike we’ve ever had before.”
Maintaining the open theme, Superintendent Geoffrey Hicks presented details that show the estimated tax rate for Clarence is $14.35 per thousand of assessed value, representing an increase of 1.4 percent over the former budget.
One of the biggest aspects of the vote will be for a transportation proposition worth $995,000 for nine buses. According to Richard Mancuso, business administrator for the district, 70 percent of the funding for the buses will come directly from state aid.
The district’s bus replacement program is designed to maintain the longevity of the transportation system, Mancuso added. After being put into place over three decades ago, the district does their best to “use the buses to their full capacity,” according to the businessman, noting that the average mileage is well over 100,000 by the time they are sold.
As the board passed the budget onto a public vote, they got their first glimpse of pending revisions to three present board policies: The Code of Conduct on school property, the dignity for All Students Act, and its Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy. All three are crucial for the district, as law requires the first two and the third make the district eligible for specific funding, according to Superintendent Hicks.
Unsurprisingly, code and policy revisions center on the ever-present threat of cyberbullying. The additional revisions function to extend conduct policies to off-site school functions as well as mandating who obtains a copy of the code.
The biggest sign of the increasing digital age we live in is the inclusion of social media in the new Internet safety and filtering policy. The updates were careful not to eliminate or prevent students from using personal devices that have educational and positive value in school, noted Hicks.
For those hoping to learn more, a budget hearing is scheduled for May 7th, at 7 p.m. in the Clarence High School lecture hall. The budget vote is slated to take place in the CHS gymnasium Tuesday, May 15th, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.