MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (March 15, 2016) – By a 4-to-1 margin, Mount Vernon residents approved the Mount Vernon City School District’s $108 million 20/20 Vision bond referendum by an unofficial 2,127 to 610 vote tonight (25 of 27 precincts reporting; not including absentee ballots).
“Tonight was an historic moment for this district in the most positive ways imaginable,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton. “I would like to take this opportunity to first thank the voters of Mount Vernon, who were so supportive of our 20/20 Vision and this bond. I would also like to thank the many people who helped get this measure passed – including Mount Vernon’s clergy, realtors, elected officials, our own district wide and school PTAs, as well as our district’s administrators, teachers and students. Our students will now have every possible academic advantage to become college and career ready, to be able to make a difference in the communities they will live in, and even beyond because of the contributions they will make to our nation. Mount Vernon’s educational transformation continues into the next phase tonight.”
Board of Education President Adriane G. Saunders also felt voters’ approval was a signal of tremendous forward motion in the district. “The impact of tonight’s vote cannot be underestimated,” she said. “The approval of this bond gives the children of Mount Vernon wonderful opportunities for the future. We are finally able to best position our district to fulfill its mission of providing all our children – from the preschoolers to the graduating seniors – with an exceptional, meaningful and life-changing educational experience. Thank you to all the voters, and all who supported our efforts, for recognizing how critical this bond passage is to the future of the children who live in this district.”
Of the $108 million bond, $81 million will be covered by state aid with $27 million to be covered by taxpayers. Highlights of the bond package are:
The implementation of a district wide, full-day pre-kindergarten program for all eligible students, allows educators to nurture students at a much earlier age. Universal Pre-K has been proven to play an important role in closing the gap between students who are far behind in school readiness when they first enter classrooms and their more advantaged peers. The Pre-K program would also save day care costs for Mount Vernon parents.
The expansion of all elementary buildings to K-8 schools provides tremendous benefit for all students. Studies indicate the continuity of academic attention and rigor is best maintained in this model. Once the building reconfigurations are in place, students will remain in one school until high school, which is considered the most successful approach to academic achievement.
The creation of three specially defined high schools of excellence will create multiple educational pathways for student success. Thornton High School will become a performing arts school for visual arts, music, dance, voice or drama careers education. A.B. Davis will become a specialized STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) school. Mount Vernon High School will continue to operate as an innovative high school with a reinvigorated Career and Technical Education program and an International Baccalaureate Program, in addition to general studies and technology.
Installation of artificial turf and new track surfaces at A.B. Davis and Mount Vernon High School in addition to renovation of outdoor basketball courts at A.B. Davis and tennis courts at Mount Vernon High School. Soccer and softball fields will be re-sodded.
Building technology and infrastructure upgrades and enhancements, including the elimination of existing modular classrooms, retrofitting wiring for high speed Internet and wireless communication, ventilation, roofing and auditorium repair and/or replacement and overall rehabilitation and repair to all building.
About Mount Vernon City School District
With more than 8,000 students in 16 schools, 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.