VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 21   |   MAY 25 – 31, 2011


‘Push poll’ shows two thirds support CCUSD override

CCUSD – During the May 24 school board meeting, Paul Ulan of Primary Consultants, LLC presented the results of a survey, which several district residents contacted dubbed a “push poll,” as the caller attempted to change the respondents mind if their viewpoint did not support an override.

The survey, contracted by Cave Creek Unified School District, conducted between April 20 and May 2, used a sample of 402 district voters and claims to have a 5 percent margin of error.

A little over 30 percent of those surveyed are parents of a current CCUSD student, while 13.4 percent are parents of a former CCUSD student.

Nine of the participants are current district employees.

Responding to whether the State of Arizona was headed in the right direction or on the wrong track, 29 percent of those surveyed said Arizona was headed in the right direction, while 57 percent said it was on the wrong track and 14 percent were unsure.

When asked the same question about CCUSD, 39 percent said the district was headed in the right direction, 26 percent said it was on the wrong track and 35 percent were unsure.

The survey results highlighted statements about CCUSD and education issues with which there was over 85 percent agreement, including:
• Quality schools enhance property values
• Strong academic schools increase property values
• Competitive salaries should be a priority

The importance of potential uses of override funds was over 85 percent when aggregated for:
• Keeping teacher jobs
• Not increasing class sizes
• Maintaining art, music, band and PE
• Competitive salaries

Importance was less than 80 percent when aggregated when it came to:
• Full day kindergarten
• Teacher aides
• More dollars in classroom

When asked how they would vote if the election was held today, 66 percent said they would vote yes, 26 percent said they would vote no and 8 percent were unsure.

The greatest support (79 percent) for the override came from those who have lived in the district less than 2 years.

Age appeared to be a significant factor with those under 30 favoring an override by 81 percent, while the percentage of respondents between the ages of 30 and 49 favoring an override was in the mid 70s and just a little over 60 percent for respondents aged 50 and over.

There didn’t appear to be any great impact when the survey taker introduced various “factors to motivate opposed,” with approx-imately 65 percent responding those factors had “no impact” on their opposition.

However, when told a majority of districts use overrides to make up discrepancies between costs and state funding and, schools representing more than 80 percent of students use overrides, 66 percent said it had no impact, while 17 percent said they would be less likely to support the override.

Even when told it could eliminate 60 teaching positions if the override failed, 65 percent of those opposed remained un-motivated to change their mind.

Primary Consultants concluded two thirds of CCUSD voters support an override, CCUSD has a base of support to expand and renew its budget override, but stated “voters appear to be established with the support and opposition to funding measures.”

It also concluded CCUSD must continue to “communicate efforts to parents, staff and community – explain benefits of the budget override and consequences of losing the override.”

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