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Ask Our Community: Funding

27J officials ask community about funding 

Parents and community members are engaging with 27J to talk about their values and priorities when it comes to supporting their children’s education. Here’s what we have learned.

The conversation started this past spring when the superintendent surveyed parents and staff to gauge their support for a possible bond issue and mill levy override. Both of these types of funding are drawn from property taxes. During an election, 27J voters could choose whether to approve one or both measures. The difference between a bond and a mill levy override is that a bond builds classrooms and a mill levy brings them to life.

In 27J, a bond is essential to building new schools to relieve overcrowding in current schools. The district is growing rapidly and student enrollment numbers are increasing. At the same time, additional teachers, equipment and other support staff are needed to appropriately staff a school and provide central support to schools. These are the kinds of things a mill levy override would provide.

Nearly 3,000 staff and parents responded to an informal, online poll sent out by Superintendent Chris Fiedler. We found that of those parents who responded, about 84 percent supported or strongly supported a bond issue and nearly 16 percent of respondents opposed or strongly opposed a bond issue. 

pie chart showing parent support versus non-support for a bond

When 27J staff responded, nearly 97% indicated support or active support for a potential bond issue.

pie chart showing staff support versus non-support for a bond

The question to parents about a possible mill levy override received high marks, but not as much support as for a bond. Parents indicated that 66.9% supported or actively would support a mill levy override.

pie chart showing parent support versus non-support for a mill levy override

When staff were asked about a potential mill levy override, they responded with 90.2% saying they’d support or actively support a mill levy override. Roughly 8.5% said they’d oppose or actively oppose a mill levy override ballot question.

pie chart showing staff support versus non-support for a mill levy override

These informal survey results were used to help shape questions used in focus groups held around the district. 

The district hopes to get a solid representation of its community’s values and priorities to guide its work through district operations, establishing programs and maintaining a strong connection between the district and its various stakeholders.

As the district further examines its community’s expectations for education, we’ll keep you posted and share opportunities for you to get involved in best supporting your neighborhood schools.