MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - Mount Vernon voters showed their continued support for Schools Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton’s 20/20 Vision on Tuesday, approving a proposed $238 million budget by a near three-to-one margin.
City residents approved the Board of Education’s proposed $238.7 million budget by an unofficial 1,1034-378 tally, with absentee ballots yet to be counted. The spending plan represents no increase in the tax levy for the second straight year.
The newly adopted budget includes a $7.9 million (3.41 percent) budget-to-budget increase from last year’s $230.9 million spending plan, which also gained overwhelming approval from voters.
With the budget approved, the district will look to hire a dozen new teachers and will continue the elementary school beautification program that was introduced this year. The budget includes transportation for Mandela High School students to the Mount Vernon High School for career and technical education, as well as the expansion of middle school sports programs to include wrestling, volleyball and softball.
In the coming academic year, high school sports teams will have transportation to out-of-district venues and a Special Olympics program will be introduced for special education students to “reinforce the importance of community service to those supporting the program.” Additionally, there will be districtwide technology improvements and a new identification card system for both students and staff.
“This year, voters in the Mount Vernon City School District have certainly supported change and improvement in their school buildings and in the education of their children – with the $108 million bond, which passed in March, the district’s 20/20 Vision and now this support for next year’s school district budget,” Hamilton said. “We are excited to see this level of commitment from the community and are looking forward to helping the district’s children pursue their dreams through quality instruction and programs in the coming school year.”