Board Adopts 2019-2020 Budget with
Zero Percent Increase on the Tax Levy
The Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education voted unanimouslyon Tuesday, April 9, 2019, to approve a proposed $256,080,057 million budget for the 2019-2020 school year. For the fourth time in five years, the board and administration are putting forward a budget with a zero percent increase in the tax levy.
The proposed budget reflects a 1.63 percent budget increase, or $4,100,197 above last year’s approved budget of $251,979,860. The budget funds staff, programs and capital improvements that will keep the District moving toward the goals set forth in the Superintendent’s 20/20 Vision for Academic Excellence and enhancing programsand services for Mount Vernon students.
Highlights from the proposed 2019-2020 budget include funding for a culinary education program at The Mount Vernon High School, new science labs at the District’s Pre-K-8 schools, districtwide bathroom upgrades, and expansion ofrelated services to accommodate students with special needs.
The budget also includes a $1.2 million reduction in teachers retirement system (TRS) costs, a $1.2 million reduction in debt service, and reduced administrative costs districtwide.
“This year’s budget builds upon the District’s mission to promote academic success while maintaining staffing. It includes a diverse range of academic and extracurricular programs available to students,” said Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton. “Recognizing our fiduciary responsibility to the City’s taxpayers, the proposed budget maximizes Mount Vernon’s investment to promote the best possible outcomes for its students. Our data is clear that thisinvestment is paying off.”
In November, the District received an A1 underlying rating and Aa3 enhanced rating from Moody’s Investors Services. According to Moody’s rating scale, these ratings are indicators that the District is fiscally strong and has the capacity to meet its financial commitments. This is the second year in a row that the Mount Vernon City School District has received these strong ratings, and they remain the highest ratings the District has ever received from Moody’s. A better bond rating means the District will pay lower interest rates on its debt and save millions of dollars in the coming years, providing more money for its schools and students.
Since a new administration took the helm five years ago led by Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, the District has had four budgets with zero percent increases. It has also maintained a strong fund balance, while increasing student test scores and graduation rates.
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. Additionally, the budget funds the later phases of a multi-year plan for improving buildings, grounds, and facilities, including the exploration of private and public partnerships.
2019-2020 Budget By the Numbers
TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2019
Polls are open 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
BY THE NUMBERS
• 2018-2019 Voter Approved Budget: $251,979,860
• 2018-2019 Recommended Budget: $256,080,057
• Total Difference: (Increase of 1.63%) $4,100,197
ZERO Percent Increase on the Tax Levy- 4th time in five years
Zero Percent Increase to Tax Levy- 4th time in five years!