Voters will be asked in Feb. 2 election to keep property taxes at their current levels to fund school construction and renovation
Albuquerque voters are likely to support the $616 million school bond package that will go before them in February, according to a poll conducted for Albuquerque Public Schools.
Pollster Brian Sanderoff told the school board Friday the outlook is good for the bond’s passage, but board members should continue to tell the public about the need for capital improvements to aging Albuquerque schools.
“This is a nice place to be,” he said. “You just need to continue to educate the public on the needs.”
The election will be held Feb. 2 and will ask voters to keep property taxes at their current levels to fund school construction and renovation.
The poll also revealed that voters are keenly aware of the district’s shrinking budget, with 22 percent citing financial constraints as the biggest problem facing APS.
A similar poll in 2006 found the foremost issue in voters’ minds was school overcrowding, with 22 percent citing it as the biggest problem. That number was down to 12 percent this year, which Sanderoff said was likely a consequence of new schools built with the last bond money.
“You’ve been working on some of these issues, and it seems the voters have noticed,” Sanderoff told the board.
Kizito Wijenje, who directs the district’s capital master plan, said the survey shows the progress APS has made on capital issues.
The poll was conducted by phone and surveyed about 400 people who voted in past bond elections. It has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
- 53 percent said they are “very likely” to support $225 million in general obligation bonds, with another 19 percent “somewhat likely” to vote yes.
- 47 percent said they “strongly support” continuing property taxes at their current levels to fund $391 million school renovation and construction. Another 21 percent said they “somewhat support” it.
- 14 percent of respondents said the biggest problem facing APS is the dropout rate, which was the second-highest percent after budget constraints. On a similar survey in 2006, only 4 percent listed the dropout rate as the biggest problem.
- 41 percent gave APS a “C” grade for overall quality of education. Another 31 percent gave APS a “B,” 6 percent gave it an “A” and a combined 16 percent give it a “D” or “F.” These results are similar to surveys done in 2006 and 2004.
- When asked about the job performance of APS teachers, 43 percent of voters gave them a “B,” and 20 percent gave them an “A.” Another 24 percent gave teachers a “C” and 5 percent gave them “D” or “F” grades.
- For the first time in such a survey, voters were asked to rank the job performance of Superintendent Winston Brooks. He was given a “C” by 25 percent of voters, and a “B” by 26 percent. Another 22 percent said they did not know, which Sanderoff said is typical in questions about an individual.
- In another first, voters were asked to rank the performance of Albuquerque’s charter schools. Thirty-eight percent gave charters a “B” grade, while 23 percent said they did not know and 21 percent gave them a “C.”