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The Madera Tribune

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MUSD advised to put bond on ballot

May 2, 2018

Survey shows support for funding construction of facilities

 

Madera Unified trustees have been advised to go for a school bond to help meet the need for more classrooms. Brian Moore of Isom Advisors told school board members at their April 24 meeting that his company’s recommendation would be for the District “to...plan on placing a bond measure on the November 2018 ballot.”


Isom Advisors had been paid $6,500 by MUSD to conduct a survey to measure how voters felt about a school bond measure.


Moore said the recommendation was based on the results of the survey, which was conducted among Madera voters between April 11 and April 17. He said the survey showed that 80 percent of the voters surveyed believe they need to do more to protect the quality of educational facilities and that support for a bond measure was 58.5 percent.


Moore said there was some sensitivity to the highest tax rate tested, but voters were supportive of the lower rates. He noted that voter support was well above the 55 percent approval threshold required for the bond to pass.


The Isom survey dealt with six major categories and has a +/- 4.85 percent margin of error.

Quality of education


Fifty percent of those surveyed thought education in California was going in the right direction, while fifty percent thought it was going in the wrong direction.


As for Madera Unified, forty two percent felt the local schools were excellent or good.


Of those responding to the survey, 30 percent have children attending Madera schools, and 38 percent have had children in Madera Unified in the past.

Support for MUSD


Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed gave the district’s teachers a favorable rating, while twenty-eight percent rated the school board favorable. Fifty-two percent gave the principals a favorable mark; the superintendent got forty percent and thirty-three percent thought the district’s fiscal management to be favorable.

Community responsibility for enhancing school facilities


Eighty percent of those surveyed felt the local community should shoulder more responsibility for maintaining adequate school facilities since state support is dwindling.

Would you vote for a $120 million school bond?


If annual audits were conducted, a citizens’ oversight committee formed, no money spent for salaries, and all money stayed local, 57.3 percent indicated they would be inclined to vote for a school bond.

Level of support for various bond projects


More than seventy-five percent of the respondents said they would support a bond that included building a new, high-tech middle school, modernizing facilities, improving handicap accessibility, and making safety and security improvements.


Support for other projects fell a bit.


Seventy percent supported a bond that would replace portable classrooms; Sixty-eight percent supported upgrades in P.E. field and facilities for school and community use. Support for two new elementary schools also came in at sixty-eight percent. Fifty-five percent supported the purchase of land for future school sites.

Tax tolerance


Fifty-one percent would support a bond with a tax of $70 per $100,000 of assessed value. Fifty-seven percent would support a tax rate of $60 per $100,000. Sixty-three percent would support a $50 per $100,000 rate, and sixty-five percent would support a tax rate of $45 per $100,000.

Support for a school bond at the end of the survey


At the conclusion of the survey, support for a school bond had risen from 57.3 percent (support at the beginning of the survey) to 58.5 percent.


According to Deputy Superintendent Sandon Schwartz, the school board will continue to interact with the community, and will most likely make a decision in June as to whether or not to put a bond measure on the November 2018 ballot.

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