Voters deciding school budgets

May 21, 2013

Voters across Western New York are heading to the polls Tuesday to decide on school budgets and candidates in a number of districts. WBFO's Eileen Buckley has more on budget votes in the City of Niagara Falls and Clarence.

Clarence Central Schools superintendent Geoffrey Hicks is asking voters to approve a proposed 9.8% tax increase, well above the tax cap. The District faces a $6.5 million budget deficit.  

The District has already used about $1.5 million of its fund balance. Hicks says pensions will be the highest rising costs in the district's budget for next year. 

In the City of Niagara Falls, voters are also being asked to approve a tax hike to help pay for education, but it's much lower. Niagara Falls Schools superintendent Cynthia Bianco tells WBFO news for the first time in 20 years, the district is forced to ask for a 3% tax increase. 

Bianco is counting on the voters to support the proposed spending plan. She says she believes the tax hike is reasonable. Without the increase the Falls City School District would be forced to trim $600,000 from its budget.