2018 budget exit survey results available

A total of 321 community members completed the exit survey at the community budget vote on May 15.

Check out the results of the survey:

Exit Poll Highlights: May 15, 2018

  • The budget exit surveys were distributed by high school Participation in Government students in Matt Kirwan’s class during the vote day. They were tabulated by 9 freshmen – Lia DiCarlo, Elaina Murdock, Marleigh Diggins, Lucy Counse, Meghan Toftegaard, Charlotte Tvelia, Alyeene Zebroski, Caroline LaQue and Chris Connors – in Chris Crounse’s Global Studies 9 class the next day. Robert Hanlon compiled the comments and analysis.
  •  The number of people who completed exit polls was 321 (16.2% of the total 1,973 voters). That is up from 179 polls in 2017, 162 polls in 2016, 129 polls in 2015 and 271 polls in 2014. But it is down from the 341 polls in 2013 and 523 polls in 2012.

2018’s turnout was 1,977, up from 2017’s turnout of 1,096 voters. The previous year’s turnouts were 1,191 in 2016, 1,145 in 2015 , 1,729 in 2014, 1,555 in 2013 and 1,892 in 2012. In the past years before that, turnout was: 1,863 in 2011; 2,426 in 2010; 2,040 in 2009; 2,045 in 2008; 2,091 in 2007; and 2,707 in 2006.

This year’s budget proposal received a 75 percent approval (1,480 votes) margin, up from last year’s 73.2 percent approval (803 votes). In past years, the approval margins have been 75 percent (895 votes) in 2016, 79.9 percent approval (915 votes) in 2015, 73.2 percent in 2014 (1,254 votes) and 68 percent in 2013 (1,058 votes). This year’s high percentage of approval came despite a relatively large tax increase proposed (3.36%).

This year’s “NO” total was 493, up considerably from the 293 “NO” votes in 2017, 296 “No” votes in 2016 and 230 NO votes in 2015. The number of NO voters in the previous years were 475 in 2014 and 497 in 2013.

Among those completing surveys, 88.8% (1,480 voters) supported the budget, capital project and bus proposal and 11.2% (36 voters) opposed the budget. For the capital project, 45 “NO” voters completed the surveys and for the bus proposal, 51 “NO’ voters completed the survey. That is typical: YES voters tend to complete the surveys more frequently than NO voters.

Here are the actual vote percentages from the May 15, 2018 community vote:

  • $55.989 million 2018-19 budget: 1,480 YES votes and 493 NO votes (75% to 25%)
  •  $14 million capital project: 1,485 YES votes and 487 NO votes (75.3% to 24.7%)
  •  $305,000 bus purchase proposal: 1,453 YES votes and 524 NO votes (73.5% to 26.5%)

The general exit poll information below pertains to voters who cast votes on the 2018-19 budget, capital project and bus proposal.

Because of the variety of possible votes (YES on all three, NO on budget, YES on capital project and bus proposal, NO on budget and capital project but YES on bus proposal, etc.), the results have been combined for the purpose of this analysis. This is not a scientific sample and, especially with the NO voters, is based on a small number of responses in some categories. The small number of responses lead to larger percentages under the NO categories. Figures may not add to 100% because of rounding.

DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN?

Those who voted:

YES

  • 18.3% Pre-school age
  • 59.0% School age
  • 22.7% Older than high school

NO

  • 8.3% Pre-school age
  • 69.0% School age
  • 22.7% Older than high school

WHAT IS YOUR AGE GROUP?

Those who voted:

  • YES . . . . . . . . . . . 3.9% 18-29/28.7% 30-44/36.9% 45-60/30.5% 61+
  • NO  . . . . . . . . . . . 8.3% 18-29/16.6% 30-44/29.2% 45-60/45.8% 61+

WHAT SCHOOLS DO YOUR CHILDREN ATTEND?

In many instances, parents do not indicate which schools their children attend. Here is the compilation for those who did answer that question.

Those who voted:

  • YES: 4.4% Glendaal /3.1% Glen-Worden/7.8% Lincoln/7.6% Sacandaga/Middle School 14.4%/High School 13.1%
  • NO: 8.3% Glendaal 0.0% Glen-Worden/0.0% Lincoln/ Sacandaga 0.0%/Middle School 8.3%/High School 18.1%

WHY DID YOU VOTE AS YOU DID ON THE PROPOSED 2018-19 BUDGET?

Respondents could check more than one answer. The figures below indicate how often that choice was selected.

YES VOTERS

  • 36.7% said they voted YES because “Despite the economic times, I believe in supporting the schools.”
  • 27.3% said “I’m glad the budget did not keep cutting programs.”
  • 20.4% said they supported the budget because “The property tax increase was reasonable.”
  • 15.6% said “I have confidence/trust in the Board of Education.”

NO VOTERS

  • 29.2% said “I think budget cuts could have been made.”
  • 27.7% said “The proposed tax increase is unreasonable.”
  • 24.6% said the “Economic times are difficult; I can’t afford more.”
  • 18.5% said “I have little confidence/trust in the Board of Education.”

WHY DID YOU VOTE AS YOU DID ON THE PROPOSED CAPITAL PROJECT?

Respondents could check more than one answer. The figures below indicate how often that choice was selected.

YES VOTERS

  • 38.4% said “I feel the fields have long needed improvement.”
  • 40% said “I support the auditorium, building upgrades.“
  • 21.6% said “Better looking schools make me proud.”

NO VOTERS

  • 42.8% said “Schools don’t need these things; academics only.
  • 40% said “I think the buildings are fine now.”
  • 17.1% said “I’m already proud of how the schools look.”

WHICH THREE OF THE FOLLOWING NON-MANDATED AREAS WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SEE PRESERVED IN THE 2019-20 BUDGET? (CHECK YOUR TOP THREE ONLY)

Among those who voted: YES 

  • College-level/Advanced Placement courses. . . . . . . . . . . . 14.8% (#1)
  • Enrichment programs (K-8) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.5% (#4)
  • Elective course offerings (gr. 6-12 courses such as
    technology, family and consumer sciences, languages). 13.1% (tied #2)
  • Expanded art and music programs (beyond mandates) . 13.1% (tied #2)
  • Student support services (including nurses,
    counselors, social workers, psychologists, etc.). . . . . . . 12.1% (#3)
  • Interscholastic athletics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .8.5%
  • Extracurricular clubs and activities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6.2%
  • Instructional technology upgrades. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4.6%
  • Library Media Specialists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3.0%
  • Maintaining class size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..8.2% (#5)
  • Bus transportation (beyond mandates). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.9%
  • Staff development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 3.4%
  • Administration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 0.6%

Among those who voted: NO

College-level/Advanced Placement courses. . . . . . .  . . . . . . .17.1% (tied #2)
Enrichment programs (K-8) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . 2.4%
Elective course offerings (gr. 6-12 courses such as
technology, family and consumer sciences, languages). . .24.4% (#1)
Expanded art and music programs (beyond mandates) . . . . 7.3% (tied #5)
Student support services (including nurses,
counselors, social workers, psychologists, etc.). . . . . . . . . . . 4.9%
Interscholastic athletics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . 7.3% (tied #5)
Extracurricular clubs and activities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 7.3% (tied #5)
Instructional technology upgrades. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.1% (tied #2)
Library Media Specialists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.0%
Maintaining class size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9.8% (#3)
Bus transportation (beyond mandates). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0%
Staff development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4%
Administration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.3% (#4)

WHAT WERE YOUR MAJOR SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2018-19 BUDGET?

Among those who voted: YES 
District Newsletter (Tartan Report) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36.6% (#1)
ScotiaGlenvilleSchools.org website. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.7% (#3)
Scotia-Glenville’ Facebook page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.3% (#5)
Daily Gazette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12.4% (#4)
Times Union. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3%
Friends/Neighbors/Staff members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.4% (#2)
Public/PTA budget presentations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.0%
Didn’t feel well informed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.3%

Among those who voted NO:
District Newsletter (Tartan Report) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36.1% (#1)
ScotiaGlenvilleSchools.org website. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8.3% (tied #3)
Scotia-Glenville’ Facebook page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.5% (#4)
Daily Gazette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30.6% (#2)
Times Union. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.8% (#5)
Friends/Neighbors/Staff members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.3% (tied #3)
Public/PTA budget presentations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0%
Didn’t feel well informed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8.3%

As we have seen as in the past, the district newsletter is the primary source of information for BOTH YES and NO voters.

Friends/neighbors/staff members were the second source for YES voters followed closely by the school district website, ScotiaGlenvilleSchools.org.

Among NO voters, the Daily Gazette was the second source of information followed distantly by the website and friends/neighbors/staff/staff members.

Under two categories – the website (14.7 percent of YES voters this year) and Facebook page (11.7 percent of YES voters this year) – the number of voters citing them as a source of information has continued to climb for a third year in a row. Last year, 11.7 percent of YES  voters cited the website and 8.1 percent cited Facebook.

This is interesting because we know, from surveys in general, that a growing number of people are getting their new information exclusively from Facebook.

As has been the case in the past, a large number of NO voters – 8.3 percent this year and 4.5 percent last year – indicated that they did not feel well informed even though they cited the same information sources as the YES voters though many more NO voters cited the
Gazette as a source about the budget. I think only one article was written in the Gazette about our budget development this year.

Comments from May 15, 2018 School Budget Vote Exit Poll

Voters who supported the budget, capital project and bus proposal:

• It is important to be proactive, not reactive.
• Property values increase when schools have quality.
• Would love to see funding for field trips again!
• The kids deserve it.
• I care.
• I support the school
• I support an increase in mental health services in school.
• More money for school field trips!
• I support the maintenance projects.
• Our children deserve it!
• Increased safety on the fields.
• I support sports.
• It’s the right thing to do.
• Support bus drivers.
• Education is essential and I’m tired of  politicians villainizing the raising of ethical, educated citizens.
• Always support the schools.
• Let’s keep restoring art and music programs.
• Six day rotation does not support our creative children. Work toward restoration! Appreciate the restoration of library media specialists.
Critical to all students.
• We need to invest in education.
• I believe in supporting schools and am disappointed by our buildings and grounds.
• We need to support our arts programs.
• Support services and increased security is important.
• Under major sources of information, this person wrote “Nickter.”
• Better schools benefit society as a whole.
• Not really convinced but I trust that it’s (capital project) a reasonable expense.
• Investment in future generations.
• Extracurricular activities are great.
• For future voting, please post bios of those on board for election.
• Although I voted for everything, I believe the article in your newsletter regarding the Veteran’s Exemption was misleading.
I had to call the town of Glenville assessor, Bob Hanlon at the DO. I finally got a clarified response from your school attorney.
I am a Cold War veteran – and do not qualify for the Veteran’s Exemption because the school district did not opt for it.
It took the school attorney to put in writing that it would not be fiscally responsible for the district to include Cold War veterans. I served during Lebanon, Grenada, Panama and patrolled the Czech border when it was a communist country – and believe me – I am proud to have served my country and I’m proud to be a citizen of this school district.
Sincerely, Chris Bailey, 5 Miracle Lane, Scotia, NY
• I will always support the schools.
• It’s important to support our schools and programs.
• More art/music back in K-5. The 6 day rotation schedule really reduces the amount of time (20%). This is so much less than other districts.
• My children got a great education in Scotia-Glenville and I want others children to also.
• As Booster Club president almost 30 years ago, I still support the schools.
• This person underlined “family and consumer sciences” in the section about preserving non-mandated programs in 2019-20.
• It’s time.
• Reluctant yes vote, tax increase significant.
• District has few other options for field improvements. Will receive NYS aid.
• As someone who was raised in Scotia and recently moved back to the district, I have seen the changes to SG over the years. The district’s
students have increasing emotional-behavioral issues, the district’s families have increasing financial challenges, and Scotia-Glenville
needs to respond to these needs. I would like to see increased after-school programming (free and low-cost), universal pre-K and
transportation support for children with working parents to participate in sports/activities. The socioeconomic profile has changed and the district’s support of students needs to change
along with it. Go Tartans.
• Education!
• Better looking schools draw families to the area.
• Property values.
• Want to keep strong special education efforts in the district as well as arts programs.
• Roofing work is needed. Believe in supporting the schools.
• This person, under the section about preserving programs in 2019-20, wrote in “special education services” and “particularly
as related to special education” after the “staff development” choice.
• This person wrote “special education services” under the section about preserving non-mandated programs in 2019-20.
• Reasonable upgrades.
• Apartment resident.
• Grandkids
• Get a new American flag for the high school. The one out front is a disgrace!!!

Voters who opposed the budget but supported the capital project and bus proposal:

• I voted No because you need to make better use of the budget, possible layoffs of teachers/ teacher aides
• Consolidate the elementary schools, cut admin fat.

Voters who supported the budget but opposed the capital project and bus proposal:

• I agree with the building upgrades and field upgrades but do not think we need an artificial turf field. Too expensive.
• If the school needed this much work, it should have been done in steps in the past years.
• Seems too expensive for the project.

Voters who supported the budget and capital project but opposed the bus proposal:

• Not much of a choice (on the budget).
• I wanted to vote no (on the capital project) but again there was no other choice.
• Our kids deserve to be safe (under capital project area)
• I feel our buses are being phased out. Why buy new ones?

Voters who opposed the budget and capital project but supported the bus proposal:

• I think there needs to be more focus on academics
• Facility repairs that are necessary are ok, but you lumped in unneeded athletic and auditorium improvements.
• Please get these students to focus more on their studies and less on sports/music and extra-curricular activities. These extra ‘things”
aren’t going to get them a job in the real world. Grades and study should be #1.
• Can’t afford $$

Voters who supported the budget, opposed the capital project and supported the bus proposal:

• Don’t need fields.
• The astroturf field is too expensive and will only last 10 years – also maybe cancer causing to our young athletes!
• Taxes are high enough
• Disgusted by the cost of the fields! Outrageous – the building needs repairs, especially the auditorium – then you throw that enormous cost for something frivolous!
• This person circled “I support the auditorium, building upgrades.”
• I voted not because: Turf
• Music – Sports should be separate items.
• I voted no because: fields bundled and roof
• People should not lose jobs.
• I believe in full day kindergarten.
• I voted no because: There is more need in academics.
• Roof repairs should not be lumped with astroturf.

Voters who opposed the budget, supported the capital project and opposed the bus proposal:

• Door monitors are a waste of funds. Put in secure access with monitors buzzed in by the office staff.
• Investment in facility upkeep is important.
• Under the area of non-mandated areas to preserve in 2019-20, this person wrote “Vo-Tech, BOCES, Machine Shop Mechanics.”
• The cuts to staff are unacceptable.

Voters who opposed the budget, capital project and bus proposal:

• Corrupt administration
• Not enough of the fine arts, always about the athletics. Lights aren’t enough.
• This writer would not have voted no “on any fine arts programs.”