How do seniors vote when it comes to the local school budget?
How should they vote?
There are several factors that intersect when considering seniors and school bond issues:
- Declining birth rates
- An increasing senior population
- More seniors aging in place
- Declining revenue for public schools
- Shaky consumer confidence
School budgets more often pass than fail. California, America’s largest state, approved roughly two-thirds of all proposals between 1998-2008. Among seniors, there’s evidence that their votes mirror the rest of the population. This study calls it a “myth” to say seniors don’t support public schools.
The public school industry understands why a senior would vote against a tax increase. To minimize a negative voting bloc, they’ve developed strategies to make allies of seniors who don’t have any direct interest in their local schools. The suggestions for school boards:
- Develop a strong public relations program
- Identify supporters and get them to the polls
- Reach out to the media and use them
- Explain tax increases in dollars and cents
Another suggestion to ensure seniors vote “yes” on school budget proposals is to open the schools to seniors for learning and recreation. Seniors could tutor students, take night classes or even share meals with the students.
- School budgets fare well in NJ elections (sfgate.com)
- Lockyer: School bond election deals appear illegal (ocregister.com)