School Board hears results of levy survey

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

The New Prague School Board heard the results of a survey regarding a possible operating levy referendum to be held in November 2011.

Though the referendum is still nearly a year away, board members felt that passage of a levy referendum is so crucial to the district that they contracted with Springsted Financial Advisors to conduct a survey of district residents to gauge the level of support a referendum would have.

Don Lifto of Springsted went over the basic numbers of the survey if the board were to simply ask for a renewal of the exiting levy. He said 58 percent of district residents would vote in favor of the levy.

The next question told respondents that the district had cut approximately $1.6 million from its operating budget over the last two years and then asked if they would vote for an increase in the levy. That level of support fell to 51 percent.

One set of questions in the survey pointed to the importance of wording the arguments in favor of a levy referendum. One question asked residents if they would be more likely to vote for an increase if they knew it would help kids stay on track to graduate, while another question asked if they would be more likely to vote if they knew it would avoid cuts to programs for at-risk students. The first question had by far a better response than the second, even though they essentially mean the same thing.

It's important to stay positive

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