FMM&A Survey Research Helps California
Community College Districts Secure Billions in Local Funding
in November 4th Election Despite Historic Economic Crisis
After the November 4th election the media has focused on the Presidential contest and high profile statewide ballot propositions, but an important story is not being reported. In record numbers, California voters approved K-12 school finance measures raising billions of dollars at the local level. How was this possible in an electoral environment with the worst economic conditions in generations, including bank failures, increasing unemployment rates, a home foreclosure epidemic, and a stock market that has left many wondering how they will afford to retire?
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates (FMM&A), a public opinion research firm specializing in research to design and pass local education finance measures, achieved a 95 percent win rate for California’s K-12 school districts on November 4th, helping secure billions of dollars in education funding through bond and parcel tax finance measures. Our record of success, which includes helping to pass more than $37 billion dollars in local bond measures and parcel taxes for California K-12 schools over the past 20 years, can assist your school district in obtaining additional revenue at a time when budgets are being slashed and our schools are being asked to do more with less.
California school districts continue to pass bond and parcel tax measures because voters regard education and neighborhood schools as a critical priority that must be addressed irrespective of current economic conditions. Despite an economy that has caused many to curtail personal spending, voters are willing to pay for class size reduction; repairing deteriorating classrooms and neighborhood schools; retaining and attracting quality teachers; and acquiring 21st Century technology. Economic troubles also reinforce the urgent need for good schools so students can compete in an increasingly competitive job market. In addition, there is an understanding that good schools maintain property values. And strong coalitions of residents, businesses and labor continue to actively advocate on behalf of local schools.
School bond and parcel tax ballot measure also succeed because FMM&A is helping districts carefully design these ballot measures through survey research to identify voter attitudes, perceptions, concerns, needs and priorities. FMM&A is the leading education ballot measure research firm in the state, and over the past 25 years we have developed an effective and successful research approach to securing revenue for local schools through voter approved ballot measures. In addition to identified specific uses of funds, messages and themes, our research helps a district craft the most effective 75-word ballot title and summary statement. The 75-word statement is one of the most critical factors in the success of a school bond or parcel tax, because for many voters it will be what they read in order to decide how they will vote. FMM&A research methodology has been instrumental in determining the precise words and phrases to effectively write these 75-word statements.
FMM&A research and advice has helped districts large and small; rural and metropolitan; from Southern California to the Central Valley to Northern California; and in communities with Republican majorities successfully obtain billions of dollars through bond and parcel tax ballot measures. Here are just a few examples from the recent November election:
- Large Urban districts – San Diego USD ($2.1 billion bond); Long Beach USD ($1.2 billion bond); Los Angeles USD tracking survey research ($7 billion)
- Central Valley – Ceres USD ($60 million bond)
- Inland Empire – Victor Valley UHSD ($500 million bond)
- Republican majority – Beaumont USD ($125 million bond)
- Northern California – Evergreen USD ($90 annual parcel tax)
- Small Rural District – Helendale ESD ($20 million bond)
- Ethnically Diverse District – Franklin-McKinley USD ($72 annual parcel tax)
Our firm takes great pride in working with California’s K-12 school districts and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can assist your district in providing students in your community a quality education during this challenging time. Whether considering a bond measure or parcel tax, we believe that our experience and record can help your district succeed at the ballot. If you are interested in obtaining additional information about FMM&A, and how our research services can assist your local school district please contact John Fairbank at (310) 828-1183 or via email at John@fmma.com or Dave Metz at 510-451-9521 or via email at Dave@fmma.com.
The following is a partial list of FMM&A clients that have passed local bond and parcel taxes:
Colton Joint USD
Long Beach USD
Los Angeles USD
Manhattan Beach USD
San Diego USD
Victor Elementary USD
Victor Valley UHSD
East Side UHSD
Los Banos USD
San Jacinto USD
Santa Monica-Malibu USD
Grant Joint UHSD
Los Angeles USD
Alum Rock USD
Hanford Joint UHSD
Saddleback Valley USD
San Bernardino City USD
Huntington Beach USD
Los Angeles USD
Placentia Yorba Linda USD
West Contra Costa USD
Los Angeles USD