Budget has a zero percent increase in the tax levy for the third consecutive year
MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (May 16, 2017) — Voters in the Mount Vernon City School District approved a $246,169,123 budget for the 2017-2018 school year by a 2,123-651 vote on Tuesday. The results remain unofficial pending the counting of absentee ballots and the Grimes Elementary precinct.
Although the approved budget is a 3.11 percent increase, or $7,419,288 above last year’s approved budget of $238,749,835, the approved budget has a zero percent tax levy for the third consecutive year. This is unprecedented!
Mount Vernon is the only district within New York State with no increase for three years running. The total proposed taxes to be collected by the school district will be $134,077,473.
“This approved budget for academic excellence allows us to continue the great work underway to help prepare our students to be college and career ready,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton. “It supports our refined 20/20 Vision and is a testament to voters’ recognition of the critical importance of academic excellence, and the restoration of public confidence in our school district. Thank you to everyone for their support.”
“We are humbled and gratified to see the results of tonight’s vote,” said Board of Education President Lesly Zamor. “Our board and administration worked extremely hard to develop and present a budget which allows us to provide the best possible education to our students while being mindful of our use of the public’s money to make that happen.”
The approved budget is 100 percent aligned with the Board of Education’s goals to create systems to promote student achievement and increase outcomes, paying particular attention to subgroups in order to close the student achievement gap. It additionally implements a multi-year plan for improving buildings, grounds, and facilities, including the exploration of private and public partnerships.
Additionally, the following district residents were elected to the Board of Education for three year terms: Israel Williams, with 1,896 votes; Arlene Torres, with 1,627 votes; and Stanley Russo, with 1,604 votes.
In March, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded to A1 from A2 the underlying rating of the school district’s $87 million in general obligation debt. Moody’s also upgraded the district’s enhanced rating to Aa3 from A1. A better bond rating means the district will pay lower interest rates, saving millions of dollars in debt service in the coming years and providing more money for our schools and students. This external assessment of an independent accounting firm, provides further affirmation that we are on the right track.
About Mount Vernon City School District
With more than 9,000 enrolled students, the Mount Vernon City School District is committed to providing a quality education to its children as well as developing programs that meet the diverse academic and social needs of its students.