MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – After the proposed Mount Vernon School Board budget was decidedly denied in the first vote on May 21, district officials have trimmed costs and are pounding the pavement hoping things turn around in the second attempt on June 18.
Interim Superintendent Judith Johnson plans to team with the PTA, faculty and administrators to meet with the public and post a video stressing the importance of ratifying the amended budget.
The new budget will cut spending by more than $1 million, increasing the tax levy by .8 percent – down from the proposed 2 percent raise in the initial budget. If accepted, the budget would eliminate two teaching, administrative and clerical positions each, as well as a GED program.
Voter turnout was light in the May election, with just six percent of eligible voters making their way to the polls. Those who did emphatically rejected the proposed $225,885,332 spending plan.
The Mount Vernon budget was the most lopsided “no” vote in the county, earning less than 40 percent of voters’ approval in a 773-1,169 loss. Voters also decided it was time for fresh blood on the school board, ousting former trustees Delia Farquharson and Marc Stuckey in favor of newcomers Adriane Saunders and Sergine Gningue.
If the budget doesn’t pass on the second opportunity, the district will be forced to adopt an austerity budget. This budget would lead to more cuts, and would severely limit the services the district can provide for students.
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