Frequently Asked Questions about the June 8 Bond Election
When is the McPherson USD 418 bond election?
The special, two-question bond election will be held on June 8, 2021. If you aren’t sure whether you’re a registered voter, it is easy to verify by contacting the McPherson County Clerk’s Office at (620) 241-3656.
What will the bond fund?
The scope of the bond includes:
How much is the proposed bond?
The proposed bond is $112.8 million.
How was this scope created?
The scope of the bond issue is the result of two years of facilities study and Community Visioning Committee work. The committee, made up our a cross-section of the McPherson community, as well as educators and students, met nine times (each a 1.5 hour session) to study the district needs and put together a plan that would be a long-term, fiscally responsible solution. This process also included a statistically-valid community survey, to ensure that the committee's proposal was in line with the greater McPherson sentiment.
Why is now the right time for a bond?
Our district facilities are in need of updates and improvements in order to continue to provide the level of education we expect for the children of our community. Currently, market conditions are very favorable for construction costs, and interest rates are at record lows. This means the district can borrow money at a very low rate, and get perhaps more scope than possible if delayed.
Why is it two questions?
The City of McPherson is partnering with the district to reduce the cost of this long-term solution to home owners, by offering a one half of one percent sales tax extension to be used exclusively for this bond scope. The sales tax rate will not change, but rather, funds would be redirected from their current purposes.
Do both questions have to pass to be successful?
Yes, both questions must be approved for the bond to pass with the proposed funding partnership. However, even if they fail, the sales tax rate in McPherson will remain unchanged.
Why the grade reconfiguration to a 5th/6th grade center?
The McPherson School District has previously had a 5th/6th grade center, so this proposal would return us to that model. This configuration is becoming increasingly more common, as these students have very similar developmental, emotional, and educational needs.
Why is the athletic component necessary?
The district has long partnered with McPherson College for the use of their athletic facilities, but that arrangement is coming to an end in the near future. As such, we need a solution that will meet these needs. This scope includes both middle and high school football and track facilities, to maintain appropriate age separation and provide adequate timing and opportunities for all students.
It looks like athletics is a large part of the bond - why?
While the track and field components do take a considerable amount of physical space, athletic opportunities make up only 10% of the overall cost of the bond, with the rest being academic spaces.
How much will this cost me?
A homeowner (whose home is valued at $150,000) will pay an additional $14.16 per month.
Will the sales tax rate change?
No. Regardless of the outcome, the sales tax rate in McPherson will remain unchanged.
If we pass this bond, will we just have to do another one in a few years?
No. This bond scope represents a long-term and complete solution that would bring every facility in the district up to current and future educational standards.
What were the results of the community survey?
A full listing of the results is available here.
How do we know the survey is valid?
Random-digit dialing (RDD) is a method of probability sampling that provides a sample of households, families, or persons through a random selection of their telephone numbers. We purchase a telephone list that includes landlines and cell phones for every patron in the district and then randomize the selection of numbers to be called. This methodology has been in use since the late 1950s and is the preferred methodology of Gallup, Pew and most other leading research firms.
The margin of error can be calculated in two ways, depending on whether you have parameters from a population or statistics from a sample:
1. Margin of error = critical value x standard deviation for the population.
2. Margin of error = critical value x standard error of the sample.
For the McPherson sample, calculations show that 300 responses will provide a margin of error of 5.6%, with a confidence factor of 95%. That means if the poll were repeated using the same techniques, we would expect the results to be within 5.6% percent of the stated result 95% of the time.
Who is eligible to vote?
Any person who lives within the McPherson School District boundary and is registered to vote may participate in the bond election.
How do I register to vote?
You can register online with a valid driver’s license, or you can pick up a voter registration form at the McPherson County Clerk’s office.