Public opinion survey provides insight

UPDATE:  Click here to read the survey results by question

The school board and administration are continuing efforts to find ways to provide information to the community and determine what the community is thinking about the district’s performance.  In the past month, we fielded a public opinion survey as a way to gain statistical information on how the community feels about what is happening with the schools.

While we all receive information regularly from community members, business leaders and others, it is helpful to have information that can be projected statistically and therefore provides a more reliable “representation” of what the community is thinking.  This survey was conducted among 300 demographically- representative registered voters (a number that is enough to provide statistical data) by John Fox, a researcher with experience helping school districts with just this type of effort.

The survey indicates the community thinks highly of the level of education the MEVSD is providing, and they want to see these programs continued.  Expanding technology is also a high priority, more so than maintaining class sizes.  People want more information from the district on finances and what’s happening in the district.

One question the board wanted input on was how people feel about the $4 million we will be losing from our budget – do they feel we should cut that amount by reducing services, is it appropriate to replace this lost amount with a levy, should we run a less expensive levy and combine that with partial cuts, etc?  The input here was very interesting: while most were still concerned about the economy, the majority felt it was appropriate for a levy to replace the lost funds, and 57% were in favor of a levy that would cover the entire amount lost and add $140 per $100,000 in home value. A lesser percentage wanted the district to cut further and reduce the levy to $120 per $100,000 in home value, and the majority preferred a lower levy earlier than a more expensive levy later.

This data is very helpful to the board in thinking through the options we have moving forward.  In our work session last week, it was clear that board members are concerned about the economy and adding to the community tax burden.  With significant cuts coming, we must make decisions as to how to meet both our students’ needs, and the needs/desires of the community.  Having data that can be projected as representative of our community thoughts & wishes gives us a better snapshot of what people want and how they feel about what we are doing.

We of course always welcome input on an ongoing basis – please feel free to email me or post on this blog to share your thoughts, goals & desires for our district.

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2 Responses to “Public opinion survey provides insight”

  1. Brenda Ely Says:

    Will the detailed results of the survey be posted on the district website?

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