Survey will decide DSD bond timeing

DALLAS — The Dallas School District conducted a voter survey to gauge support for a possible 7-year, $15 million bond to repair and renovate school buildings and facilities.

The survey conducted this month by The Nelson Report, the public opinion and survey research division of Salem-based Public Affairs Counsel. The 10-minute survey will cost the district approximately $10,000.

The outcome of the survey will help the board decide whether to pursue the bond in November’s general election or in May 2015. The district has to approve the bond title for the ballot by late August in order for it to appear on the November ballot, making the timeline short to analyze the survey results.

Board Chairman Michael Blanchard said The Nelson Report could have basic results — the yes-to-no ratio — available next week.

“To me the most significant is the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ ratio. If the ‘yes’ votes aren’t high enough, we are looking at May,” Blanchard said.

The Nelson Report prepared a draft survey, which the board reviewed July 15, eliminating and editing questions to prepare the final draft. After the review, the board members gave the go-ahead to proceed with the poll.

The proposed bond would replace the one voters passed in 2009, also for maintenance, and is projected to leave the district’s tax rate essentially the same as it is now, approximately $1.74 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

“I think it’s probably going to be a worthwhile investment,” Blanchard said of the survey. “(The message) has changed a little bit from 2009, and we really need to be clear about what the community thinks about that before we move forward.”

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