Survey shows marginal 'qualified' support for $845 million bond issue for Elk Grove Schools for November ballot

After being presented negative arguments over a $845 million school facility bond, support fell to 48 percent, much less than the required 55 percent needed for approval. | 

UPDATED 1:30 p.m. |

A study commissioned by the Elk Grove Unified School district shows marginal voter support for a possible $845 million school facilities improvement bond on this November's ballot.

The school district commissioned the study to see if the voters would approve the bond. As a Proposition 39 bond, it needs 55 percent approval. 

If approved, the tax would add about $52 per $100,000 in assessed property value, or an average of $184 district wide. 

Speaking to the board of trustees during the February 20 meeting, Timothy McClarney of True North Research said the survey contacted 866 people. Overall, support for the bond was at 55 percent.

Respondents were given positive and negative messages about a bond proposal during the survey. Interestingly, the support fell slightly to 54 percent with the positive message, while the negative messaging decreased support by seven percent to just 48 percent. 

"After the negatives, we drop about six points where we were with the interim ballot test, we have 48 percent support, 41 percent oppose, and you still have about, rounds to 11 percent of voters who are unsure or prefer not to answer the questions," McClarney said.

In further discussion, McClarney said three factors reduce support for bonds statewide. They include Assembly Bill 195, which requires stringent ballot language requirements, recent inflationary pressures, and hyper-partisanship.

"Over the last eight years, we have now seen just the level of partisanship has grown, and it has started to shape how people see local measures." McClarney said. 

Based on his analysis, McClarney said it could pass with modifications.  

"It is a qualified yes, but," he said. "It is a yes, but going to require adjustments."

McClarney told the trustees a challenge for the November voting "will be a hyper-partisan election, and we can expect more of it as we get closer to the election day." Over the last couple of years, EGUSD trustees have been barraged by public comments on hot-button issues like book bans and LGBTQ+ issues. 

After McClarney's comments, EGUSD staff member Kristen Coates recommended the results of the March primary should be studied for trends and that another survey be conducted in late spring or early summer to gauge voters' appetite. If the board decides to pursue the bond, it will need to be approved during their July meetings.  

The board will receive a detailed facilities needs report at their March 19 meeting. The survey presentation can be viewed below. 

UPDATE - The hyperlink to True North has been updated to the correct website. 

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Randy Bekker said...

If the language is not written where the money can only be spent on new schools building, up grade old school buildings including lighting, hvac, safety structures issues it will not pass. Especially with what happened trying to get the New Franklin school built and what is currently happening in the eastern district with the need of new schools for those residents.

Sid Vicious said...

If all of those MAGA book banners and anti-LGBTQ+ crew take a look at the web page for True North, they'll be howling at the moon!

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