What is a Board of Education?
The Board of Education is the official policy-making body of the school district, and is comprised of nine members, elected by the public, who serve three-year terms of office without paid compensation.
The F.O.I.L. Process
As the Board of Education is responsible for decision-making that
affects the entire school district, it welcomes sentiments from the
public to assist in making decisions in an equitable manner.
There is one opportunity for the Board to hear from the public. When the
meeting reaches "Public Comment" on the agenda, members of the Mount
Vernon community may address the Board on any item of interest. Please
state your name, address, and the organization (if any) you represent.
Persons who read prepared statements to the Board must provide a copy of
the written statement to the Board prior to their remarks. Comments are
limited to three minutes per person. Parent or community groups who
have a specific concern may voice it in writing to:
Mount Vernon Board of Education
165 N. Columbus Ave.
Mount Vernon, NY 10553
For more information or to schedule time to speak:
Members of the public should schedule requests to speak at Board Meetings no later than 4:00 p.m. on the date of the meeting. You may phone, mail or email speaking requests.
Responsibilities of the Board of Education:
The areas of Board responsibility include:
- Exercising educational leadership and drafting policies for the operation of the local schools
- Employing a Superintendent of Schools
- Authorizing the appointment of teachers and all other staff members
- Determining goals for educational standards
- Securing money for school operational needs and building programs, and authorizing specific expenditures
To discharge these varied and necessary responsibilities, the Board of Education often calls on the consultative resources of the professional staff of the schools and the resources available in the community.
Role of the Superintendent of Schools:
The Superintendent of Schools is appointed by the Board of Education, and acts as its Chief Executive Officer in
administering its policies. The Superintendent also acts as an advisor to the Board of Education, informing them of the needs, progress, and educational programs of the schools. In addition, the Superintendent serves as a professional resource to the Board and makes recommendations on questions relating to the recruitment and supervision of professional staff, selection of textbooks and instructional materials, and the development of curricula.
Special meetings are held on an as-needed basis and are scheduled in addition to regular business meetings. Special meeting dates, times, and locations are announced in advance in the Journal News and Mount Vernon Cable 6.
How Board Meetings are Conducted:
No one person or group acts in the name of the Board of Education. When any item of business comes before the Board in the form of a motion, it is necessary that at least five Board members must be present to form a quorum. Five votes must be cast in favor of the motion for the Board to act. The Board has complete and final control over local school matters, subject only to limitations imposed by State law, regulations of the State Commissioner of Education, and the will of local residents as determined in district elections.
The Board also meets in executive session to discuss personnel matters, labor negotiations, and other matters defined as confidential by the Open Meeting Law of the State of New York. All executive sessions are closed to the public. The Board of Education may not vote during executive sessions.
Policy on Broadcasting and Taping of Meetings: The use of any tape or recording device at public meetings of the Board of Education is permissible as long as the device is unobtrusive and will not distract from the deliberative process of the Board. The Board President is to be informed prior to the meeting that such recordings are being made and will advise all present that the meeting is being recorded.
I. Executive Session (6:30 p.m.)
II. Roll Call (7:00 p.m.)
III. Public Comment
IV. Superintendent's Report
V. Voting of Tabs
VI. Motion to Adjourn to Executive Session (if necessary)
Copies of the agenda are available to the public at the Education Center (165 N. Columbus Ave., Mount Vernon) on the Tuesday prior to each meeting. A copy will also be posted on the door. The agenda outlines the order of business and the items to be discussed or acted upon.
REGULATIONS FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETINGS
All stated Work Sessions and Special Meetings of the Mount Vernon Board of Education are open to the public. The community's view on issues that affect the schools are welcomed by the Trustees of the Board of Education and the administration.
Copies of the meeting agendas are available to the public online several days prior to the meeting at
and at all meetings.
The public is invited to address the Trustees during the Community Input session prior to the beginning of the meeting. These meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of each month and the location will be announced prior to each meeting. This is an attempt of the board to bring the meetings closer to the community. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.
Persons wishing to address the Trustees should see the Board Clerk prior to the Community Input session of the meeting. Speaker cards will be made available for individuals who wish to leave their contact information so trustees or administration can respond to specific topics or concerns after the meeting. Cards will not be available after 6:45 pm on the day of the meeting.
Three minutes will be provided to speakers addressing the Trustees on an issue or issues. Those addressing the Trustees must abide by the three minute buzzer and immediately conclude their remarks. The time of one speaker cannot be transferred to another speaker.
Speakers who indulge in rude disrespectful behavior, such as cursing, making deprecating or disparaging remarks, will immediately have their time at the microphone terminated.
Remarks are to be made to the Trustees as a whole Board and not directed to individual Board members. Failure to do so will result in immediate termination of speaking time.
Comments from individual speakers, the Trustees, or the administration should be listened to with courtesy and respect from the audience. Audience members shall refrain from shouting commentary or from any other disrespectful behavior.
For the safety of the participating audience please keep the aisles and podium areas clear.
The budget is the financial operating plan for running the school system and the legal basis for establishing the school tax rate. The Superintendent presents a tentative budget proposal for the following year to the Board. A Citizens' Advisory Committee on School Finance reviews the proposed budget and makes recommendations to the Board of Education. Public budget hearings are held prior to Board adoption of the budget. The budget is then presented for voter approval in the spring.
The Board annually appoints members to Citizens' Advisory Committees on continuing education, athletics, school finance, and summer center. Ad hoc and special committees are formed, restructured, or disbanded as the Board determines. The Board encourages parents and residents to serve on these committees.
Do You Have A Concern?
The Board encourages parents and community members who have a concern about their children's education or other school-related problems to attempt to resolve them first at the level most directly involved, usually the classroom teacher or the building principal. If the problem cannot be resolved, contact a Central Office Administrator, and if the situation is still not resolved, contact the Superintendent of Schools. If the situation is still outstanding without resolution, speak to the Board of Education.