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Letter: Clarence school taxes have been low for years

Clarence school taxes have been low for years

Overstuffed with excess taxes? Check your facts! Donn Esmonde and the “outraged citizens” in Clarence have been duped by a well-orchestrated tax-reduction movement. Esmonde got out his broad brush and painted a very inaccurate picture. That picture damaged the reputation of the community and the School of Excellence and bolstered the boldness of a few with very real self-interests.

Here are the real truths.

Clarence spends 36 percent less per student than similar districts statewide.

The community has enjoyed an extremely low tax rate for years. As a point of reference, if the 9.8 percent increase passed the budget vote, the tax rate still would have been lower than comparable and acclaimed districts, and even below the 2007 tax rate!

Business First consistently ranks Clarence in the top two districts (out of 97) relative to student achievement and first with regard to cost effectiveness.

“Overstuffed with school tax excess” could not be further from the truth.

Continued cuts to the school budget will change the very nature of Clarence. People are attracted to Clarence, a bedroom community, because of the schools. It has taken decades of dedication of the administration, teachers and community support to build Clarence into a School of Excellence. It’ll only take a couple of years of decisions fueled by hate, fear and jealousy orchestrated by a very small minority with hidden self-interests to tear it down.

Mike Hammill