An analysis of campaigns for public school bond proposals
Bennett, Thomas Paul
MetadataShow full item record
The development of public education in the United States is largely dependent upon the attitudes of the public and its desire to provide revenue for the improvement and maintenance of the schools. Since the citizens of a community are both the owners and the consumers of public education, they are fully responsible for keeping their local school system moving forward with the times. Providing revenue from tax levies and other sources for the schools is a key factor in citizen support of public education. Through legislation and bond issues, the public is able to fulfill its responsibility of financing local educational institutions. The bond issue is the most common means of raising revenue for public school expenditure. However, the percentage of public school bond proposals that have been recently defeated at the polls has been alarmingly high, more than 30 percent in 1963. Many educational observers believe that certain conditions and elements are present repeatedly in school bond campaigns that fail, but they disagree on how some of those factors actually affect the outcome of the election. There are contradictions and inconsistencies concerning the use of pupils and teachers in the campaign, the size of the voter turnout, lay citizen leadership, treatment of the opposition, and other areas. This lack of agreement among educational authorities is very evident in the educational literature and is not of substantial assistance in the planning of a strong school bond campaign. A school official or interested citizen who is attempting to develop a campaign program would soon be mystified when faced with the contradictions and inconsistencies that appear in the educational publications. In an effort to clarify the direction in which these significant factors do operate, a research project elicited responses concerning those factors from 188 public school superintendents who had participated in a public school bond campaign in 1963. Based on the results of the research survey and additional supplemental research, 14 common guidelines were established for use by school officials and interested lay citizens. By following these guidelines, they can adapt to a single campaign the techniques and information that have been successfully used by others on a large scale. The guidelines include conducting pre-campaign research, timing the campaign for an October election climax, obtaining unanimous endorsement from the local Board of Education, soliciting lay citizen participation and leadership, welcoming faculty support, discouraging pupil activity, attempting to win over or neutralize potential opposition prior to the campaign, treating the remaining opposition fairly, concentrating campaign toward potential "yes" voters, stressing the benefits not the cost of the bond without using threats, engaging in campaign activities involving maximum personal contact, sending speakers to civic organizations, and maintaining a continuous year-around public relations program.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston UniversityPLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you.