Troy BOE examines research data results

By Cody Willoughby -

TROY — The Troy City School board of education examined the results of market research data within the district during their monthly meeting held on Monday, July 9.

Public opinion researcher Paul Fallon of Fallon Research and Communications, Inc. was present to explain the results of the data. The company previously conducted survey research data in the district in 2011. The cost of the survey was $13,000.

Fallon Research conducted interviews by telephone with 300 randomly selected adults in the district from Monday, April 23 to Saturday, April 28. A 5.65 percent overall margin of error was estimated of the findings.

Fallon insisted that most results showed positive support for the schools within the Troy community.

Data showed that 62 percent of respondents felt that the school district was moving in the right direction, compared to 67 percent approval in 2011. Among parents with a child enrolled in the district, 75 percent approved of the district’s direction.

Teachers and staff in the district were also ranked positively; according to the data, 71 percent of respondents claimed staff performance was excellent or good, compared to 70 percent in 2011. Among parents, the number jumped to 85 percent.

Quality of education in the district was ranked as excellent or good by 76 percent of respondents, with parents at 80 percent and non-parents at 75 percent, as opposed to 78 percent in 2011.

“When you’ve got something that high that’s consistent over a long period of time, I’d consider it a hallmark of the education being offered in the community,” Fallon said.

Safety of students was also surveyed among respondents, with 54 percent very satisfied with the district’s safety measures, 26 percent somewhat satisfied, and six percent not satisfied. Results compared to the 2011 survey showed no statistical significance.

On provided maintenance and upkeep to its buildings, 41 percent were satisfied with the district’s performance, 33 percent were somewhat satisfied, and 11 percent were not satisfied.

Opinions on the conditions of provided no clear consensus, but also little immediate concern, with 34 percent of respondents rating them as adequate, and 33 percent having no opinion.

Tax sensitivity in the district proved modest, with 59 percent of respondents ranking tax rates in their area as “pretty fair,” and 23 percent rating them as “too high.” High ratings in how the school district has managed its money, with 59 percent rating excellent or good and 18 percent rating fair, suggested that doubts about stewardship likely did not significantly influence the levy failure in November 2017.

“Among those that said taxes are too high, even 52 percent of them said they were getting a good value for their money within the district,” Fallon said. “Those folks probably are not naysayers, and consider themselves to be school district supporters.”

On continuing the renewal of levies in future years, 75 percent of respondents were in favor of their continuance, with parents 82 percent in favor, and non-parents 69 percent in favor.

Despite bond issue failure in November 2017, Fallon claimed the results suggested the community is receptive to funding facility needs, with 36 percent wanting to seek another bond issue and 24 percent wanting to seek a facility improvement levy for a lower amount than the bond issue.

Results also showed a clear preference for neighborhood schools, with 64 percent of respondents wanting to maintain the current number of elementary schools within the district.

“I don’t think you’re doing anything poorly here,” Fallon said. “A lot of school districts would be envious of even lower numbers than you’re getting.”

Fallon suggested the biggest weakness the district faces is a lack of universal connectivity amongdifferent subgroups.

“I see some challenges in potential opportunities,” Fallon said. “Clearly, one of them is the complexity of being able to communicate to the district in its entirety.There’s just no single channel to reach everyone in this day and age. It’s not something that’s endemic to the Troy City School district. We see that in a lot of communities.”

Fallon also suggested if a bond issue is revisited, that critical thinking should be applied on why the previous bond issue failed.

“Often times in the wake of a school district defeat, people automatically assume the worst,” Fallon said. “Often the reason people vote down these issues are more benign. Sometimes it’s best when people are satisfied with the condition of the buildings not to talk about what’s going to happen to the buildings, but what’s going to happen in the buildings.”

In other news:

  • Treasurer Jeff Price provided a summer work progress report, noting several projects that are either completed or in development. Re-paving of lots at the board office and Heywood Elementary, concrete work at Van Cleve, and re-painting at the junior high and high school have been completed. Tuck-point brickwork and security device installation at various buildings is still in progress.
  • The board approved a resolution to proceed to levy a tax in excess of the ten-mill limitation. The levy will be submitted to voters in the Nov. 6 election. If the levy passes, it will be placed upon the 2019 tax list for first collection in the 2020 calendar year.

The board is scheduled to reconvene at the board office on Monday, Aug. 13.

For more information, visit

By Cody Willoughby