Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Kevin P. Brady

Committee Member

John C. Pijanowski

Second Committee Member

Christy L. Smith

Keywords

Educational Administration, Educational Leadership, School Bond Elections, School Bond Referendum, School Finance

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine factors that influence stakeholder support of bond elections targeted for capital improvements in a rural school district in Kansas. The study uses existing research to identify factors that influence school bond referendum success. To better understand the factors identified in the research literature that influence stakeholder support in the focus district, data were gathered from stakeholders within the school district of focus through a perceptual survey and focus group interviews.

The availability of research on school bond referendum success and failure is plentiful. However, specific research on factors that influence rural school district stakeholder support for increased taxes to fund capital improvements (new or renovated facilities) is limited, especially rural school districts in Kansas. There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy in gaining voter support for bond elections. This dissertation seeks to study factors that influence the support of increased taxes to cover capital improvements in one rural school district in Kansas. Results from this study illustrate the importance of consistent and transparent communication over a period of nine to twelve months before asking stakeholders to vote. This allows time for stakeholders to ask questions and understand the importance of a successful bond election. Unanimous support by board of education members was also found to be a critical factor. Community stakeholders should organize and lead the campaign to convince voters to support the bond referendum. Strategies of engagement are included in this study. The results of this research could guide or provide invaluable guidance to other rural school districts in Kansas when investigating voter perceptions towards supporting bond referendums.

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