After voters submitted their ballots for the 2018-19 school budget vote on May 15, they were given the opportunity to take an exit survey to give the district feedback on the budget and future expectations. The vote passed with 549 in favor and 338 opposed.
The survey returned results from more than 100 voters. Of those who stated they voted yes on the budget, 84 percent said they voted yes because they believe in investing in education. Of the “no” voters, 46 percent said they would like to support the budget, but cannot afford it.
Of those who took the exit survey, 77.9 percent believe the level of proposed spending on academic programs for the 2018-19 budget is appropriate, 11.5 percent believe it is too much, and 10.6 percent believe it is too little.
When asked if they had adequate information about the budget, 84.5 percent of those surveyed said they did have enough information, while 15.5 said they lacked information. According to the poll, 78 percent said the district newsletter, mailed to homes before the vote, is where they got their information about the proposed budget. Twenty-nine percent said they used word of mouth to get information.
Of those polled, 47 percent said they have children attending school in the district, 41 percent said their children have already graduated, either from RCS or another district, and 13 percent do not have children. The largest age group to attend the vote was 31-50, at 44.6 percent; seniors (65 years and above) were the second largest group with 26.8 percent; ages 51-64 was 22.3 percent and; residents under 30 years old was at 6.3 percent.
49.6 percent of voters who took the exit poll live in Bethlehem, 40.7 percent live in Coeymans, eight percent are from New Baltimore and 1.8 percent live in New Scotland.
When given the opportunity to select three areas of non-mandated educational opportunities they would like to see preserved in the future, survey-takers said they would keep:
- Music programs (beyond those mandated) – 53.2 percent
- College level courses – 50.5 percent
- Art programs (beyond those mandated) – 46.8 percent
- Vocational training opportunities – 45 percent
- Extracurricular clubs and activities – 38.7 percent
- Technology upgrades – 33.3 percent
- Small class size – 30.6 percent
- Enrichment programs – 25.2 percent
- Elective courses – 20.7 percent
- Field trips – 19.8 percent
- Staff development – 19.8 percent
- School facilities – 15.3 percent