Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2001

Bond issue on the line

April 19, 2001

If the phone starts ringing within the next few weeks, you might want to take the call. There's a chance you may be asked to answer questions on how the Eudora Board of Education should cope with growth in Eudora's schools.

Last Thursday, the board approved exploration of building a new 500-student high school. If approved by voters, Eudora Middle School would move to the current high school facility and additions such as a new gymnasium would be built at a later time. Earlier this year, the board approved $5,000 to pay for a phone survey on the bond issue.

Superintendent Dave Winans said the survey would help the board decide if the community would support the bond issue on the fall ballot.

"This is like an insurance policy in a way to help the board be more sure that what they're putting before the voters is going to be a good use of everybody's time," Winans said. "And, it's as close to a vote that we could get without actually having a vote."

The Research Center, Wichita, will conduct the survey for the board. Gloria Summers, senior research analyst, said the center would have the results for the board's May 9 meeting. At that meeting, the board will use the results to help decide if the 500-student concept it has agreed upon will be sent to the voters.

Summers said there are different types of surveys available. Some can be done by mail, but it's often difficult to get the average resident to take time to fill one out.

"What we've recommended is go with a telephone study," Summers said. "What we will do is purchase a sample of telephone numbers in that school district. It will be a random list. It should capture even those who have unlisted numbers or cell phones."

Summers said the random survey should accurately reflect the attitude of the community. The center will call 350 to 400 residents, with each phone survey lasting close to six minutes.

The Research Center conducted a phone survey for the Emporia district last year, when it was considering a bond issue for a new school, Summers said. The study showed the school district had voter support and the bond passed when it went to the voters. Summers is confident the board can rely on the findings to be fairly accurate of the community's attitude toward a bond issue for a new school.

"It's almost amazing how the results we get reflect the community," she said.

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