Budget Information

The Mount Vernon School District teaches, supports, and challenges thousands of students through high-quality instruction and social-emotional learning. Our District Vision is "To graduate inspired and critical thinkers who embrace diversity and are committed to the betterment of their own lives and the lives of others." 
 

May 3, 2024


Good afternoon,


At the board meeting on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, I provided the board with another update of our budget work and outlook for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years.  If you did not get a chance to attend the board meeting in person or via zoom, I encourage you to review the recorded board meeting as it provides important information.  Particularly, under my superintendents report we provided an update on our MVSD sustainability planning work.  You can view that section of the update here and a copy of the presentation is here.  


As I shared last month, while the 2024-25 budget preparation is still in progress, without reductions the expenditures are $7,787,878 more than revenues.  In addition to using $5 million in fund balance created by unplanned revenues, we will need to make $2,787,878 in expenditure reductions to balance the 2024-25 budget.  Since the excess fund balance ($5 million) will be spent in 2024-25, it will not be available to allow for deficit spending (expenditures larger than revenues) again, so even larger reductions will be necessary to balance the 2025-26 budget.  Any additional increase in expenditures in excess of revenues in 2025-26 will widen the gap and result in deeper reductions. 


The May 15th statutory deadline requires us to address certificated and administrative staffing positions prior to the completion of the final budget adoption.  The board took action on a resolution that allows us to continue to move our work forward.  The anticipated financial resources are not adequate to maintain the district’s educational program and services at substantially the same level as the current year.  As a common practice across schools, we attempt to address staffing reductions through attrition, retirements, and resignations.  Even so, a reduction in the current number of staff positions is necessary.   


As we move forward, we will continue to provide you with updated information as it becomes available. 


Thank you,

Dr. Ismael Vivanco, Superintendent

 

April 19, 2024


Good afternoon,


As I shared on December 8, 2023, the Mount Vernon School District, like many other districts in our state, is anticipating a budget shortfall for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years.  Realigning our expenses with our revenues over the past several years has been incredibly challenging, and the coming years will be no different.  Since this past January, our Sustainability Planning Team, consisting of members of my Cabinet and key members of the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Departments, have been meeting on Friday afternoons to address this.


At the board meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, I provided the board with an update of our budget work and outlook for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years.  If you did not get a chance to attend the board meeting in person or via zoom, I would encourage you to review the recorded board meeting as it provides important information.  Specifically, under my superintendents report we provided an update on our sustainability planning work.  Additionally, under district updates Dr. O’Brien provided an Inclusionary Practices update, both of which have impacts to our sustainability planning work.  You can see the board meeting here and a copy of the presentation here.  


While the 2024-25 budget preparation is still in progress, without reductions the expenditures are $8 million more than revenues.  In addition to using $5 million in fund balance created by unplanned revenues, we will need to make $3 million in expenditure reductions to balance the 2024-25 budget.  Since the excess fund balance will be spent in 2024-25, it won’t be available to allow for deficit spending (expenditures larger than revenues) again, so even larger reductions will be necessary to balance the 2025-26 budget.  Any additional increase in expenditures in excess of revenues in 2025-26 will widen our gap and result in additional reductions.


As we move forward, we will continue to provide you with updated information when it becomes available. 


Thank you,

 

Dr. Ismael Vivanco, Superintendent

December 8, 2023

Message from the Superintendent:

The Mount School District, like many other school districts, is anticipating a budget deficit for the 2024-25 school year due to factors outlined below.  As part of the 2023-24 budget development process, $10.8 million in reductions were identified.  Realigning our expenses with our revenues over the past several years has been incredibly challenging, and this coming year will be no different.  

At the board meeting on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, we provided the board with an initial update of our budget outlook for the 2024-25 school year.  While it is still early, we are currently estimating a $3,000,000 deficit between revenues and expenditures.

As previously highlighted, the state and federal funding structures for school districts have not evolved in tandem with the rising operational costs, which include increased bargained salaries for all of our employee groups.  McCleary, coupled with the pandemic, stands as the primary cause behind the fluctuations in our revenues, expenditures, and fund balance, hindering our efforts to establish a sustainable budget. 

This fluctuation is a challenge we acknowledge that makes managing the budget extremely difficult.  Fund balance beyond the required 5% can only be used once to address increasing costs and is not a sustainable way to cover expenditures and balance a budget.  This instability requires a strategic approach to guarantee long-term financial management for stabilizing the school district in the future.

During the December 6th board meeting, the School Board directed Administration to explore the high school bell schedule.  It is not uncommon for changes that impact our district to begin at the board level.  Exploring changes in the 4x8 schedule emerged as a way to address the estimated deficit, hopefully with minimal impact on student outcomes.  Because the board directed us to explore this further, a shift to the high school bell schedule cannot occur for the 24-25 school year.  Staff and community involvement at board meetings is encouraged and there is always opportunity for public comment.  


As we move forward, district leadership will continue to look at this and other potential cost saving measures.  We will continue to provide you updated information.

Thank you,
 

Dr. Ismael Vivanco, Superintendent 

 

8 de diciembre de 2023

El Distrito Escolar de Mount, como muchos otros distritos escolares, anticipa un déficit presupuestario para el año escolar 2024-25 debido a los factores que se describen a continuación. Como parte del proceso de desarrollo del presupuesto 2023-24, se identificaron $10.8 millones en reducciones. Realinear nuestros gastos con nuestros ingresos durante los últimos años ha sido un desafío increíble y el próximo año no será diferente.

En la reunión de la junta del miércoles 6 de diciembre de 2023, le proporcionamos a la junta una actualización inicial de nuestra perspectiva presupuestaria para el año escolar 2024-25. Aunque todavía es pronto, actualmente estamos estimando un déficit de 3.000.000 de dólares entre ingresos y gastos.

Como se destacó anteriormente, las estructuras de financiamiento estatal y federal para los distritos escolares no han evolucionado a la par con los crecientes costos operativos, que incluyen aumentos salariales negociados para todos nuestros grupos de empleados. McCleary, junto con la pandemia, es la causa principal detrás de las fluctuaciones en nuestros ingresos, gastos y saldo de fondos, lo que obstaculiza nuestros esfuerzos por establecer un presupuesto sostenible.

Esta fluctuación es un desafío que reconocemos y que hace que la gestión del presupuesto sea extremadamente difícil. El saldo del fondo que supere el 5% requerido solo se puede utilizar una vez para abordar los costos crecientes y no es una forma sostenible de cubrir gastos y equilibrar un presupuesto. Esta inestabilidad requiere un enfoque estratégico para garantizar una gestión financiera a largo plazo para estabilizar el distrito escolar en el futuro.

Durante la reunión de la junta directiva del 6 de diciembre, la Junta Escolar ordenó a la administración que explorara el horario de campana de la escuela secundaria. No es raro que los cambios que impactan a nuestro distrito comiencen a nivel de la junta directiva. La exploración de cambios en el horario 4x8 surgió como una forma de abordar el déficit estimado, con suerte con un impacto mínimo en los resultados de los estudiantes. Debido a que la junta nos ordenó explorar esto más a fondo, no puede ocurrir un cambio al horario de campana de la escuela secundaria para el año escolar 24-25. Se fomenta la participación del personal y de la comunidad en las reuniones de la junta y siempre hay oportunidad para comentarios públicos.


A medida que avancemos, los líderes del distrito seguirán analizando esta y otras posibles medidas de ahorro de costos. Continuaremos proporcionándole información actualizada.

Gracias,


Dr. Ismael Vivanco, Superintendente


June 16, 2023

Message from the Superintendent: 

I hope this message finds you well.  I want to provide you with an update on the most current information we have regarding our 2023-24 budget before you leave for the summer.

At the June 7th board meeting, I provided a brief update to the board as we did not have a lot of new information to share.  I do not anticipate having additional information for the June 21st Board meeting.  We plan to have a better understanding of our budget in July.  

We are working hard on developing the budget and working on certificated and classified staffing assignments.  We are also exploring options for middle school - after school activities for the board’s consideration once we have a better understanding of the final budget outcome in July.  

Please continue to reach out to me with ideas, questions or concerns.  

Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and our District.


May 19, 2023

Message from the Superintendent:

I hope this message reaches you in good health. I would like to provide you with information on the most recent budget update of our board meeting held on May 17, 2023. Primarily, I want to convey my appreciation to each and every one of you who participated, whether in person or remotely. Your attendance and contributions are vital as we work to overcome the obstacles together.

While we didn't have an abundance of recent information, I ensured that the board received the most up-to-date information available.  My emphasis was on reviewing the details pertaining to fund balance/reserves and the rationale behind establishing and maintaining them.  Additionally, I made an effort to clarify the local financial difficulties we face, particularly in relation to broader social justice issues and the funding challenges unique to property poor districts like ours, which serve a higher proportion of marginalized populations.

If you would like to view the Budget Update that was presented to the board, you can find it here. As I have mentioned before, to better understand the context and rationale of the information, I highly encourage you to watch the video narrative presented during the board meeting. The PDF of the presentation is attached here for your reference.  Previous communications can also be found on your MVSD website under the budget link toward the top of the page.

We will continue working through these reduction options, maintaining communication with our union leadership teams, and engaging in discussions with district and building administrators. As we move forward, further updates will be provided. Please continue to reach out to me with ideas, questions or concerns.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and our District.


May 5, 2023

Message from the Superintendent:

I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to update you on the latest developments from our recent board meeting on May 3, 2023. First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to all of you who were able to attend in person or virtually. Your presence and input are crucial as we work to navigate these challenging times together.

During the meeting, we took some time to address questions and feedback that were raised by board members, as well as to provide additional information about potential budget reductions. We understand that these decisions have a significant impact on our community and that there are challenges and concerns that come along with them. 

If you would like to view the Budget Update that was presented to the board, you can find it here. As I have mentioned before, to better understand the context and rationale of the information, I highly encourage you to watch the video narrative presented during the board meeting. The PDF of the presentation is attached here for your reference.  Previous communications can also be found on your MVSD website under the budget link toward the top of the page.

Our goal is to maintain our efforts with our strategic initiatives for our students, while still making necessary reductions to balance the budget. We will continue to work closely with our school board to achieve this goal.  The comments, questions and ideas shared at the board meeting are valuable inputs that we carefully consider to ensure that we make informed decisions.

We will continue these reduction considerations, communication with our union leadership teams, and discussions with district and building administrators.  Additional updates will be provided as we proceed.  Please continue to reach out to me with ideas, questions or concerns.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and our District.


April 21, 2023

Message from the Superintendent:

I want to provide you with an update from our board meeting on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Thank you to the staff and community members who attended the meeting  in person and on Zoom. We appreciate your presence and the public comments that were shared.  As we have mentioned, we are not taking any of these decisions lightly and are doing our best under the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  


During that meeting, we addressed questions and feedback from board members during and following the April 12th presentation.  This was an opportunity for the Board to seek additional information, raise questions and concerns, and provide ongoing guidance as the reduction plan eventually informs the 2023-24 budget adoption.  We also provided additional information about potential reductions that are under consideration.  


If you would like to view the Budget Update that was presented to the board, you can find it here. I highly encourage you to watch the video narrative presented during the presentation to better understand the context and rationale of the information. The PDF of the presentation is attached here for your reference.  


Budget reductions of this magnitude are very challenging and we know they raise anxiety levels. Our goal is to maintain our efforts with our strategic initiatives for our students, while still making necessary reductions to balance our budget.  As we continue working with our school board and as they engage in this work, the comments, questions and ideas shared at the board meeting are examples of input that we all carefully consider.


We will continue these reduction considerations, communication with our union leadership teams, and discussions with district and building administrators.  Additional updates will be provided as we proceed.  Please continue to reach out to me with ideas, questions or concerns.


Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and our District.


April 14, 2023

Message from the Superintendent: 


I want to provide you with an update from our board meeting on Wednesday April 12, 2023.  First, I want to share my appreciation for the staff and community members that attended the board meeting in person and on Zoom.  We truly appreciate your presence and the public comments that were shared.


During that meeting, we presented a Budget Update to the board in which we shared the contributing factors that led to the difference between estimated revenues and expenditures for the 2023-2024 school year.  We also provided information about potential reductions that are under consideration.


If you would like to view the Budget Update that was presented to the board, you can find it here. The video was recorded live and the camera angles covered small portions of the presentation text. The PDF is attached here for your reference.  I highly encourage you to watch the video narrative (first link) presented during the presentation to better understand the context and rationale of the information.


Budget reductions of this magnitude are very challenging and I know they raise anxiety levels. Our goal is to maintain our efforts with our strategic initiatives for our students while still making necessary reductions to balance our budget.  As we continue working with our school board and they engage in this work, the comments, questions and ideas shared at the board meeting are examples of input that we all carefully consider.


As we shared with the Board, we will continue these reduction considerations, continue our communication with our union leadership teams, and continue discussions with district and building administrators. There will be time during the April 19 School Board meeting for the Board to further their engagement with this work. Additional updates will be provided as we proceed.  Please reach out to me with ideas, questions or concerns.


Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and our District.


March 30, 2023

Message from the Superintendent:

I hope all is well. I continue to observe countless positive student experiences in and around our schools. This is due to your collective efforts to make a difference in the lives of our students. Thank you for your commitment and support to our school community.

Although the State legislature still has nearly a month to go, I want to provide you with a general budget update before you head off to spring break. The District Cabinet team continues to meet to identify priorities, discuss adjustments and reductions, and develop recommendations for school board consideration as part of the budget adoption process. You will hear more specifics in conjunction with the April 12th board meeting.

Some of the more significant reduction ideas that we have been working with so far are staff adjustments that are closely aligned to elimination of ESSER costs, not filling selected leaves, retirements or resignations, and tech and security levy funding adjustments.  We are also looking at possible ways to reallocate positions currently funded through Basic Education Allocation (BEA) into other funding sources. 

Our current staffing levels and contractual obligations in relation to this State’s prototypical funding model are unsustainable beyond this year. We make every effort to staff at the levels necessary to meet our community’s expectation of providing safe and supportive learning environments. It is disheartening that we are being forced to reduce staff and programs at a time when the needs of students continue to remain high.  

As mentioned in the March 17 update, knowing that 86% of our budget supports staff costs, it is important in the budget planning process to determine the number of employees who intend to retire or resign at the end of this school year. Additionally, if there are planned leaves for the 2023-24 school year, that will also be factored into the efforts to build a balanced budget to recommend to the school board for their approval. 

We recognize the valuable contributions of all our staff members to the success of our students and our District. However, the budget situation requires us to make some incredibly difficult decisions. We will continue to work with union leaders regarding staff reductions and ensure timely notification of those impacted. We will be meeting with labor groups and staff members in the coming weeks to discuss the details of the reductions and how they will be implemented.  

We appreciate your understanding during this challenging time. As we wait on information from the State, we remain in a slight holding pattern in terms of budget reduction recommendations.  We will continue to provide updates on the budget planning process. Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and our District.

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Ismael Vivanco


March 17, 2023

Message from the Superintendent:

The 2023-24 Budget Update message I sent via email to all staff on March 2 informed everyone that reducing positions and hours will be part of the District’s budget work. Given that 86% of our expenditures cover staff costs, there is no way around this. 

 

In preparation for that reduction the District will determine the number of employees who plan to retire or resign at the end of the 2022-23 school year by April 14th. This determination also aligns with current MVEA contract language. We will also determine the number of employees who are planning to take leaves in the 2023-24 school year. Both pieces of information will inform the level of reduction needed to generate a balanced budget recommendation to the school board. 

Of course additional resignations, retirements and leaves may surface after April 14th. For planning purposes, the District can only plan based upon the information we have in hand. 

The Mount Vernon School District maintains a running list of staff that have already informed us that they do not plan to return for the 2023-24 school year, as well as a running list of staff who have approved leaves for 2023-24.  If you fall into one of these categories and you have not shared that information yet with the District, we encourage you to do so before the end of the day on April 14th. 

Thank you for your attention and assistance as we gather this information. 

Dr. Ismael Vivanco


March 2, 2023

Message from the Superintendent:

During the March 1, 2023 board meeting, we provided your board with an update of our budget outlook for the 2023-2024 school year.  As anticipated, we face a significant difference between the estimated revenues and expenditures for the 2023-2024.  

What contributes to this difference? The manner by which the state funds school districts has not kept pace with the costs of running a school district, including the salaries and wages we believe our staff deserve. Federal ESSER funds that enabled us to address student needs and cover rising costs can no longer be relied upon as they come to an end next school year. The number of staff we employ is well beyond the number of staff the state funds. While each school district has unique financial circumstances, we see these same factors in many districts currently.

To address this challenge and present a balanced budget to the school board this summer, work is underway to identify potential reductions.  The District is exploring options to reduce expenditures in line with our anticipated revenue. Your District Cabinet Team has been meeting to identify priorities, discuss adjustments and reductions, and develop recommendations for school board consideration as part of their budget adoption process.  Given that 86% of our expenditures cover staff costs, reducing positions and hours will occur. To date, we have shared information with the following partners:


February 16, 2023 - shared budget information with the District Leadership Team

February 21, 2023 - shared budget information with building principals

February 22, 2023 - shared budget information with labor union partners 

March 1, 2023 - shared budget information and update with the Board

 

Dr. Ismael Vivanco

Attachment Size
Budget Timeline.pdf (53.95 KB) 53.95 KB
Budget Revenues and expenditures.pdf (56.98 KB) 56.98 KB
Budget graphs.pdf (52.81 KB) 52.81 KB