By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (September 14, 2017) — Results of a community survey suggest a hypothetical May, 2018 Stephenville ISD bond election could be determined by the slimmest of margins.
As in just a few votes.
Baselice & Associates, Inc. conducted the survey from August 23-29, producing 242 respondents and a +/- 6.3 percent margin of error.
Potential voters were asked initially asked if they would vote for or against a bond of $60 million and 37 percent said they wold vote for, while 44 percent said they would vote against.
But once the respondents provided more information concerning facilities and needs, as assessed over the past several months by a district facilities planning committee, 47 percent said they would vote for a bond of $60 million while 46 percent said whey would vote against it.
If the 242 respondents were the only voters in such an election, and everyone voted the way they indicated on the “informed ballot,” with the 7 percent who were unsure not voting, the measure would be approved by a count of 114-111. (113.74 to 111.32).
The survey results were further broken down into intensity figures showing more respondents would strongly oppose a $60 million bond than strongly support it. Results also showed that net support from the initial to the informed ballots increased among parents of district students while producing little movement among non-parents. Data provided by Baseline & Associates show 57 percent of the respondents do not have children attending SISD schools.
The survey shows approval of bond issuance becomes more likely as the bond amount decreases, with a $30 million bond very likely to pass and a $60 million bond very much dependent on voters being educated on the issue.
Baselice and Associates also found 83 percent of respondents have a positive perception of SISD, 8 percent hold a negative perception and 9 percent have no opinion.
Asked about the Stephenville ISD board of trustees, 56 percent answered positively, 10 percent negatively, 22 percent had no opinion and 12 percent claimed they never heard of them. And concerning superintendent Matt Underwood, 57 percent said positive, and only 7 percent negative, while 18 percent said they had no opinion and 17 percent said hey had never heard of Underwood even though he just began his fourth school year as the district’s highest ranking administrator.
A power point presentation showed survey results to members of the facilities planning committee Wednesday evening, and to achieve total transparency the presentation, itemized list of any/all facility needs suggested by administrators and committee members and more were later shared by Underwood in an email to the committee, trustees, local media and others.
Underwood emphasizes the itemized list – totaling just more than $100 million – is not an indicator what the district will ask for if a bond election is called. The committee will apply established criteria to narrow the list before making a recommendation to the board of trustees, who are ultimately responsible for determining what would be part of a bond and when it goes on the ballot.
The detailed results of the community survey are AVAILABLE HERE.
The itemized list of all facility needs identified by the SISD Facilities Planning Committee is AVAILABLE HERE.
The updated SISD Bond Capacity Analysis is AVAILABLE HERE.
The agenda/workbook from the Wednesday, September 13, 2017 committee meeting is AVAILABLE HERE.