The West Bend School District has sent out the survey asking about the appetite for a referendum. As explained when it was announced, this is the survey created by the propaganda group School Perceptions. You can see the whole survey here: school-referendum-survey-2018. As expected, it is more of a propaganda piece than a survey. Given that the survey is designed to elicit a specific, pro-referendum, response and I have almost no faith in the accurate tabulation of the results, I hesitate to even go through it.
As predicted, the survey returned the results that the School Board paid to get.
More than 2,800 community members and staff of the West Bend School District responded to the survey. Non-parent, non-staff community members were least supportive of a referendum, with 22 percent in favor of doing nothing for the aging Jackson Elementary and high schools.
I would note that there are about 40,000 residents of the district, so that’s about a 7% return rate. And the controls on submitting multiple surveys were pretty loose.
Among all taxpayers surveyed, which excludes some staff and parents, 50 percent of taxpayers supported a new elementary or a remodel. The town of Jackson supported a new building at a rate of 62 percent, and the village of Jackson supported a new school at a rate of 67 percent.
At the high school, the highest support was for increased safety and the lowest support was for a renovation of both the weight room and locker room.
The cost of building a new Jackson Elementary and doing every update for the high schools would be about $80 million. If all projects suggested by the survey were completed at the high school, that alone would cost more than $50 million.
I look forward to seeing the actual results with the detail behind it. All we have right now is a news story, which is just relaying what the district mouthpiece said.
Here comes your referendum, West Bend.