In March and April 2012, the San Carlos School District commissioned a study to understand the feasibility of a potential measure on the November 2012 ballot to allow the district to float bonds to raise money for capital and construction projects throughout the district. Note that for such a measure to pass, it must receive at least 55% support from voters as a Proposition 39 bond.
The district commissioned TBWB Strategies and Godbe Research to conduct a survey of local voters with the following research objectives:
- Assess potential voter support for a bond measure to improve and upgrade elementary and middle schools and protect quality education with funding that cannot be taken by the State;
- Identify the optimum tax amount at which voters will support the measure;
- Prioritize projects and programs to be funded with the proceeds;
- Test the influence of supporting and opposing arguments on potential voter support; and
- Identify any differences in voter support due to demographic and/or voter behavioral characteristics.
The findings of the survey were very favorable, showing strong support for the school district and a potential bond measure. Key findings included:
- 71.6% of voters have a favorable opinion on whether SCSD is providing quality education for kids (only 7.8% of voters had an unfavorable opinion — the rest answered “don’t know”) (Note that this was an increase vs. when a similar question was asked 19 months ago)
- When asked at the beginning of the survey if they would vote for such a measure, 62.3% said probably or definitely yes (28.5% said no, 9.2% said don’t know)
- Almost all of the potential features of the measure got significant support, including protecting quality of instruction, making needed repairs, upgrading classrooms and technology, and making safety improvements.
- Voters particularly appreciated that all money raised can only go to benefit our local schools
- After hearing the details of the measure, voters were asked at the end of the survey if they would vote for the measure. 66.6% of voters said probably or definitely yes. 30% said no, and 3.4% didn’t know.
The survey went into more details about specific features of the measure as well as different bond and tax amounts. The survey presentation given to the San Carlos School Board can be viewed here.