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Your Opinion: Survey reflects cost concerns of school district patrons

Your Opinion: Survey reflects cost concerns of school district patrons

December 12th, 2012 by Lorelei Riley Schwartz, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

I attended the school board meeting Monday night where there was a lot of discussion regarding the possibility of building a new high school facility.

I was anxious to hear what the Concerned Citizens JC Needs Two Separate High Schools had to say. I wanted to add comments to their information.

The committee presented information involving a survey done in the spring 2011 which stated that 73 percent of the respondents would "strongly favor" two high schools. The committee believed the school board ignored the survey and presented an option of just one high school.

The information the committee did not present at the school board meeting was the following from that same survey:

"When the possible tax implications were discussed, the support dropped meaningfully. A total of 49 percent said they would either "strongly favor" or "favor" a proposal that would result in a tax increase of $150 for the owner of a $100,000 home. When opponents at that level were asked about a $100 increase instead, total support (combining those who became supportive at a $100 increase with those who already were supportive at the $150 level) was 51 percent continuing opponents were asked about a $90 increase instead, total support moved to 54 percent. However, when taking into account the margin of error of 5 percent, this means that statistically speaking - there is no difference between the support level at $150 and the support levels at $100, and at $90."

"A total of 66 percent said they would either "definitely vote yes' or "probably vote yes' if the district selected a high school option that was not their first choice, as long as the cost was "within the range of what you would be willing to support."Â 

There was also no mention of a bond issue presented about 20 years ago for the purpose of building a second high school and it failed. 

There is a big difference between what people say they want and what they are willing to pay for.

To me, it appears that the school board did listen to the voters when they said, "put a plan on the ballot for which we are willing to pay and at a cost we can afford."