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Mount Vernon Superintendent Hamilton Discusses 2015-16 Budget

Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton is the superintendent of schools for the Mount Vernon School District.
Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton is the superintendent of schools for the Mount Vernon School District. Photo Credit: File

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- It is hard to believe we have been on the grind for nine months already. Where did the time go? 

Everyone has been great. I am enjoying every minute of this journey and have met some amazing staff, parents and students. Some have said our children deserve the privilege of getting a better education. I disagree. 

It is not a privilege, which implies it should be earned. It is their right. Therefore, it is a social justice issue and we are obligated to set a new standard. We are literally on the verge of creating a new Mount Vernon. 

We have a cohesive board and a new leadership team in place that is moving with jet-like speed to create new opportunities for staff and students. Our mission is simple. Give our students the chance they deserve and raise the quality of education in the Mount Vernon community. 

The 2015-2016 Fiscal Plan for Academic Excellence is our chance to get it right. This budget restores so much of what has been lost. It includes guidance counselors for every building, full time nurses, professional development designed to ensure exceptional instruction for students, building repairs, reopening the MVHS swimming pool, Gifted and Talented education, Small Learning Communities for MVHS, Family and Community Engagement initiative, a Performing Arts Magnet School, and the list goes on. 

We have a unique opportunity to send a message to the community that we are united and committed to improving our schools. This budget has been created to respond to the concerns of all facets of the community. It rebuilds the district with high quality, high impact programs and services and keeps the tax rate at its current level. This budget has no increase in the local tax levy. 

Please take the time to review the Fiscal Plan for Academic Excellence, and be the district ambassadors to get the word out about how important it is to vote on the budget. Remember that as district employees you can’t tell students that parents must vote FOR the budget, but that they should vote ON the budget. Your voice matters. 

Yours for the sake of all children, 

Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, Superintendent of Schools, Mount Vernon City School District

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