OCEANSIDE — Is a $104 million bond measure in Oceanside Unified School District’s (OUSD) future? A recent survey says it’s possible.
OUSD on Oct. 22 received the results of a research study that asserted that passing a $104 million bond measure in 2014 is feasible based on the responses of several hundred voters.
The study, conducted by True North Research and TBWB Strategies, gauged voters’ views of a hypothetical bond that was developed based on the district’s top priority, large-scale projects in need of funding.
The notional $104 million bond used in the survey was defined as generating funds to pay for facility repairs, improved student safety measures and updated technology.
About 59 percent of the 400 people surveyed responded with a “definitely yes” or “probably yes” that they would vote in support of such a bond.
The surveyed voters were only told the amount and general purpose of the bond, which is typically the amount of information most voters would have when making a decision at the ballot box, according to Jared Boigon, a partner at TBWB Strategies. This makes the initial ballot test the most reliable measure of community feedback to the hypothetical bond.
“We’re trying to gauge where the public is,” said OUSD Superintendent Larry Perondi about the survey.
He emphasized that the survey in no way means that OUSD will put a bond on the ballot in 2014, but rather is a tool for the district to use to consider the possibility.
He also would not specify if there are any projects in particular that the district is looking to obtain large amounts of money to finance.
The OUSD Board of Education at this time has only received the report and not indicated whether it will continue to explore the option of a bond measure.
The Board is expected to decide whether or not to pursue a new bond sometime early next year.
Voters passed the most recent OUSD bond measure, Proposition H, in June 2008. The $195 million in general obligation bonds was used to pay for school facility improvements to help the district finish the repairs and modernization efforts established under the Proposition G bond construction program.
Survey responses were collected using a telephone survey conducted in English and Spanish in mid-September.
Respondents indicated that if a bond measure passes, they would mostly favor the money being used for repairing of roofs, electricity and plumbing; upgrading classrooms, and providing classrooms and labs for career and technology education classes.
Those surveyed also cited that if they were going to oppose a bond, the most convincing reason is that the district just passed a $195 million bond four years ago.
Perondi said it was important for the district to consider community feedback when contemplating campaigning for a new bond.
“You don’t want to waste effort, waste time, waste money on a threshold that will not be successful,” he said.