Getting ready for the Bond Referendum in 2006, the Superintendent ordered a poll to be done at a cost of probably $20,000 (that's the figure we got from the polling organization for a similar subsequent poll the next summer.) 

Notice a few important things revealed by this survey (which was actually what is called a "push poll"):

1.  "Dealing with increased school enrollments receives the lowest favorable rating."

2.  Only one-third of the district voters believe the quality of education in the Katy Independent School District has improved over the last three years. 

3.  Sixty-five per cent of respondents said they would endorse the Katy School District taking on more debt in the form of bonds if they knew it would not raise their property taxes."  [Thus we can count on the District's taxes not being raised in the year the bond passes or the year after that.]

4. The modal reason respondents who were opposed to the bond (17%)  gave for voting against the bond issue were that the district does not spend its money wisely.

5.The question "would voters who support a $370 million bond initiative still support the bond if they knew that the district's debt could decrease funds available for day to day programs and operations?"  resulted in a decline of support by 12%.  Thus the practice in all three of the last bond initiatives to try to cover up the fact that increasing the debt service does indeed take money away from the Maintenance and Operations budget.

6. The question "Would voters who support a $370 million bond initiative still support the bond if they knew that an increase in the school district's debt could impair its instructional program?" resulted in a decline of support by 24%.  Thus we have the practice in all three of the last bond initiatives to try to cover up the fact until the last possible moment that having to pay the debt of the bond issues has indeed compromised the M&O money which funds salaries for teachers and other employees.

7.  Note that contrary to what the superintendent and  the school board chose to do in April when there was not enough money, the respondents, when asked what should be cut if the District has to make significant cuts said "extracurricular activities" (24%) and "new construction" (20%).  Obviously cutting teachers and other employees were not the top two choices.  In fact, when the time came to cut, "the District's new construction" was started, not stopped or much less cut.

8.  The other bit of information coming from this expensive poll was proclaimed by Dr. Stein at a Bond Committee meeting. He noted that the "bond would pass as long as parents and taxpayers had the perception that the academic quality of the district was not on the decline."  Thus, when the district's rating on TAKS went up a level, that announcement came conveniently from the TEA right before the election.  Ordinarily that information doesn't come out until August.  Note that this year even though we know that the Superintendent knows that the District's rating has dropped one level, he has not even told the school board members yet!  Fat chance we would have ever known about it before the school board election.  I also have to wonder if they did the bond last fall because they realized the rating was going to fall this spring and wanted to get the bond over before that happened.

9.  And last but not least, in spite of an expensive poll telling them that the bond initiative would easily pass, it failed! If they purchased another poll with the 2010 Bond Referendum, they didn't tell anyone in the public about it.