UPDATE: Thoughts on the inevitable Franklin referendum

Previously on This Just In…

The update:  Well, maybe not as inevitable as I thought.

The results are in. At Wednesday night’s Franklin School Board meeting the totals from the recent polling of Franklin residents about possible referendum questions pertaining to Franklin’s middle school were announced. Let’s examine.

The survey via paper and e-mail was conducted in May/June. The total number of responses was 2,357. That’s a measly 21%, further demonstrating the gigantic apathy that permeates Franklin.

On the question: Would you support the school district exploring a referendum to update Forest Park Middle School at this time.

This one’s not that simple to easily to interpret. 86% of district staff, 73% of parents with school district children, 61% of all residents, and 445 of non-parent residents said yes. Careful now. These folks said yes to exploring a possible referendum. However, they may not necessarily  support an affirmative vote on a referendum, probably because the question isn’t specific enough. They might support just letting voters have the opportunity to decide. It’s a hard call.

There were 3 options on the survey regarding the middle school.

OPTION 1 

Option 1 would add 86,000 square feet, renovate 29% of the school, and be a $26 million referendum representing an estimated annual tax impact of $21 for each $100,000 of a home’s value for each of the next 20 years. Option 1 by far is the cheapest of the referendum options given to residents.

51% of all residents said yes, 35% said no. That’s a very slight majority in favor.

71% of school district staff residents said yes. No surprise. This the group most likely to approve of taxing and spending. Only 15% of this group had the common sense to say no.

When you ask the parents, moms and dads with kids in the school district, again, the results are not surprising. They want the entire school district to help pay for improvements in Joey and Mary’s school.

62% said yes, only 25% said no. Not a surprise.

AND NOW WE GET TO THE CRITICAL GROUP: THE NON-PARENT RESIDENTS.

This is the important demographic  group the pro-tax and spend referendum lovers (district staff and parents) must win over, must persuade in order to ensure victory at the polls.

Not good.

Not good at all.

35% said yes. 50% said no.

A resounding defeat on Option 1.

OPTION 2

Option 2 would add 155,500 square feet, renovate 83% of the school,  and be a $49.3 million referendum representing an estimated annual tax impact of $92 for each $100,000 of a home’s value for each of the next 20 years. This is by far the most expensive option.


Only 28% of all residents said yes while a whopping 55% said no.

Staff support dropped dramatically here. 41% of school district staff residents said yes. 35% of this group said no. So you see a split among the group most likely to vote yes on a tax and spend question at the ballot.

When you ask the parents, moms and dads with kids in the school district, suddenly, they get leery.  Only 39% said yes while 42% said no.

AND NOW WE GET TO THE CRITICAL GROUP: THE NON-PARENT RESIDENTS.

The doors get blown off. A piddly 12% said yes, 74% said no.

OPTION 3

Option 3 would, get this, build a new two -story middle school with a $43.3 million referendum representing an estimated annual tax impact of $73 for each $100,000 of a home’s value for each of the next 20 years. This is the second-most expensive option, a middle of the road alternative that might appear more appealing.

49% of all residents said yes, 36% said no. A plurality in favor, not a majority.

Staff support is what you’d expect. 75% of school district staff residents said tax and spend away, yes. Only 14% said no. Again, no big surprise.

When you ask the parents, moms and dads with kids in the school district, 60% said yes while 24% said no.  Nothing shocking there.

AND NOW WE GET TO THE CRITICAL GROUP: THE NON-PARENT RESIDENTS.

Only 33% said yes, 54% said no.

To repeat:

The group of non-parent residents, the group that school referendum supporters within school districts admit  is the pivotal faction that needs to be won over is speaking clearly: no referendum on the middle school.

To repeat

On option 1

35% said yes. 50% said no.

On option 2

12% said yes, 74% said no.

On option 3

33% said yes, 54% said no.

CONCLUSION:

The results are clear. There is no consensus, mandate, clamoring, outpouring of support for a referendum or referendum questions on the middle school. If anything the electorate is opposed, skeptical, or at the very least undecided.

The Franklin School Board needs to understand and respond accordingly.  Will they? Who knows? This weak bunch erroneously believes they work for the superintendent instead of the other way around.

Final note: To the folks at FranklinNOW, the bunch that dropped ALL community blogs. This is NEWS. You might want to get around to actually reporting it.

2 thoughts on “UPDATE: Thoughts on the inevitable Franklin referendum

  1. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (06/27/16) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

  2. Pingback: 2ND UPDATE: Thoughts on the inevitable Franklin referendum | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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