MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon Board of Education has adopted a $227.5 million schools budget, representing a property tax levy increase of .5 percent for homeowners.
The adopted spending plan represents a 1.22 percent budget-to-budget increase over last year’s $224.7 million plan, which required emergency affidavit votes to pass. The budget is well below the state mandated .76 percent cap on the tax levy increase.
The budget accounts for the district’s planned transition to a “K-8” model and includes a “text-to-tablets roll-out” that marks the beginning of a new technology initiative. There will be continued Common Core implementation in English and math and early literacy programs will remain unchanged.
If the budget passes at the public vote on Tuesday, May 20, the district will restore its gifted and talented programs and secondary literacy programs for students in need of advanced help to meet the state standards. Parent Portal, a web-based tool for parents to view student grades and attendance has been included in the budget.
Due to decreased enrollment, as well as escalating mandates and employee benefit costs, the district will be forced to eliminate 15 teaching positions to avoid cutting any core programs, though that number may be reduced when the district offers retirement incentives to veteran teachers.
The district, like countless others around the county, continues to be plagued by escalating unfunded mandates. From last year’s budget to this year, retirement and employee benefit costs increased by more than $3 million for the district.
The public will have a chance to react to the budget at a community budget workshop at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 3 and at a districtwide budget hearing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7, at the Mount Vernon Board of Education on North Columbus Avenue.
You can see the complete adopted budget here. Would you approve the budget, as proposed? Vote in our poll and continue the conversation in the comments section below.