Mount Vernon Voters Pass $227 Million Schools Budget

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Mount Vernon voters easily passed the proposed schools budget.
Mount Vernon voters easily passed the proposed schools budget. Photo Credit: File

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The proposed Mount Vernon School District’s $227.5 million budget was unofficially passed by voters Tuesday, with 1178 “yes” votes against just 596 “no” votes.

While the budget vote is discernibly clear, the vote on Board of Education trustees remains unclear. With 100 absentee ballots still to count, the top three vote-getters are within 180 votes of each other.

Darcy Miller is leading the way, with 1,334 votes, trailed by Omar McDowell’s 1,292 and Charmaine Fearon’s 1,154 votes. The top three vote-getters will serve on the board for three-year terms.

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.

With the passage of the budget, the district will restore its gifted and talented program, as well as secondary literacy programs for students in need of advanced help to meet state standards. Parent Portal, a web-based tool for parents to view student grades and attendance is also going to be put into effect.

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.


Total Votes

  • Darcy Miller: 1,334
  • Omar McDowell: 1,292
  • Charmaine Fearon: 1,154
  • Samuel Rivers: 891
  • Helena Edwards: 838
  • Kathie Brewington: 651
  • Marc Stuckey: 583

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Comments (12)

I am appalled that it takes 1/4 of a BILLION dollars to run the schools in Mount Vernon. This is outrageous and the population should be up in arms over it. There is incredible waste going on ---- for example, Mount Vernon HS alone employs NINE assistant principals at an average salary of $125K (not including benefits) for a student population of approximately 2,000 (the school has a capacity for 3,000). As a property owner, school taxes are by far the largest piece of what I have to pay. For the amount of money this town rakes in for schools (I'm skeptical as to whether all of it actually goes to the schools as opposed to lining someone's pockets), we should graduating 95% plus of the senior classes from ALL of our high schools, not the paltry 71% which the town claims (and is actually much less). Oh, let's not forget that this $225K that was approved in this most recent election is exclusive of whatever subsidies come from the State. I attended one meeting a few years ago led by State Senator Jeff Klein, in which it was disclosed that the State provides upwards of $85-million a year. So given the influx of all this money, why are our schools still the laughing stock and the butt of all the school jokes in Westchester?

The cost per student is an astronomical $30,000! And more than half are failing (they fail reading, writing, math, history and science tests, according to the NYS Dept. of Education "report card" on the MV schools).
The superintendent is paid more than 1/4 of a MILLION dollars, plus full benefits. And the salary is unconditional - salary is guaranteed even if there is no improvement in the students' test scores.
Nationally, the educational system is a racket, and it's the reason why the American students have very low grades in general, compared to students in other "developed" countries.

Mount Vernon has a population of over 67,000 people...yet only approx 1700 residents voted...call Albany and launch an investigation.

The total population of Mount Vernon is about 67,000. The number of registered voters is about half that number. Most registered voters do not bother to vote in local elections, whatever the issues may be. More people will vote in state and national elections.
As for this School election, there were some people who voted only for candidates, and some who voted only on the budget. There is no requirement to vote on the budget, and no requirement to vote for the maximum number of candidates (in this election it was 3). Voters can choose whichever they want.

At least call 914-665-5235 to let them know you are wise to their tricks. There is literally not one place online where you can learn your district number (which is unique to this particular type of election and is in a different location) and hence your polling place. If it is not outright fraud it is a deliberate intent to deceive and only people who worked for the school district could possibly have known where to go.

Last night I would have called after going on a wild goose chase all over the city but there was no way to get through to any real person at 7 PM even though the guy at this number would tell you that they were answering those types of questions all night. I am not sure how they knew who to call, but if that many people do not know where it is, there is a problem.

Everyone who was denied last night should be allowed an absentee ballot. Case in point, the recent library election was held at the library, but it was plainly stated. These people are either crooks or they are totally incompetent. In either case, I demand a chance to vote against the theft from my paycheck.

These outrageous budgets were voted down two times already (and for those elections were held at AB Davis). Miraculously, after the defeat was announced it was declared that some absentee ballots were suddenly "found." You cannot tell me this was approved 2-1. And now they want even more when everyone knows it is not going to kids but to crooks.

Albany doesn't care about Mount Vernon. The Governor and his cohorts will let the cancer in Mount Vernon continue to fester. As for the extremely low voter turnout, I believe it. People feel it's not worth their time to vote because there is so much corruption in Mount Vernon, whatever the City and the "powers that be" want, they will get, and the voice of the people doesn't matter.

Yes, turnout is low, but people are also angry about these repeated tax increases that exceed the state mandated "cap." I tried to vote last night and maybe I am an idiot, but it never occurred to me that the election would not take place at my usual polling place. Instead, I arrived to find everything deserted. It was impossible to find out where it was really being held even after I went home and tried to find it online. Sure, I found the list of polling places by district number. The problem was, there was nothing telling me my district number as they changed everything for this particular election.

I cannot be the only one who was completely shut out. Only people who planned to vote Yes (meaning city and school employees) were told where to vote.

Sadly, the crimes committed by the MV Board of Education will continue, and the students and the taxpayers will continue to be on the losing end.
New York State has given Mount Vernon Schools a very poor report card. On average, 50% of the students fail reading, writing, math, history, and science tests. Only 71% graduate from the High School (but many are being pushed out just to get rid of them).
And the State also noted that about 75% of the students are living "in poverty" - in other words, "on welfare". Therefore they have no incentive to become educated to better themselves. They know they can remain on welfare all their lives. Many of them are already 4th and 5th generation welfare.

This is really a travesty as I went to my usual polling place only to find nothing there and no way to find out where the election was. This is probably the most egregious case of disenfranchisement yet. I went online to find my district and it was not listed (as I am number 46 which was not assigned a polling place).

There needs to be some sort of investigation.

The club wins again.

QUESTION TO THE AUTHOR OF ARTICLE & EVERYONE ELSE
Please explain to me like I am a two year old.
How does ~6700 people vote for the 7 school board candidates but only ~1800 people vote for the school budget when everyone who went into the voting booth had to vote yes/no for the school budget and then choose 3 out of 7 candidates for the school board.
If only ~1800 people voted yes/no for the school budget then the total amount of people who voted for the 7 school board candidates should be ~1800 votes dispersed amongst the 7 candidates (~1800/7). How did they get ~6700 from 1700?
I went to my voting place and I was number 45 at 8pm. I went into the booth where you have to vote yes/no for the school budget then choose 3 out of 7 for the school board and then pull the lever to cast your vote. This would be the same process on an absentee or paper ballot.
Were people allowed to vote for the school board candidates without voting for the school budget?
Please explain this new common core math to me: how can you miraculously get 6700 from 1800?

1800 voters arrived.

Each had 1 vote for the budget and each had 3 votes for Trustees.

1800 x 3 = 5400 ... that number doesn't include people who didn't vote for the budget and voted only for trustees. Also, some people voted only for the budget but not for the trustees.