Residents think Dublin schools doing a good job

The Columbus Dispatch – November 15, 1995

A survey shows residents of the Dublin school district are happy with the job educators are doing.

But administrators are disappointed that the 505 people polled did not show more confidence in the way they are handling the district’s $50 million operating budget.

The $10,000 survey was done by Saperstein Associates of Columbus and presented to the school board this week. The random sample of 505 parents and nonparents showed that, overall, residents are happy with curriculum, expenditures for computers and the quality of teachers.

But 39 percent of those surveyed only ”moderately” agreed that taxpayers are ”getting their money’s worth” from the schools.

Other questions showed much more positive responses, said school board President Thalia Johanssen, and she takes it as a sign the district should study its financial management – and the way it communicates finances.

Superintendent Stephen Anderson said he was ”pleasantly surprised” by the positive responses people gave when asked about district programs. But he still plans to examine all areas of school services and formulate a long-range plan. Some of that may involve community committees.

The communications department, too, is making changes.

Its director, Lynda Sirk, wants to add more information about expenditures to three newsletters she already sends to parents and district residents.

That’s always a challenge, she said, because people would rather hear about awards and achievements than wade through long explanations of finances.

But the pollster, Marty Saperstein, said he is surprised at the board’s reaction to the survey. Residents may have shown less enthusiasm when asked to rate the district’s finances because that is an area people always believe can be improved. In many polls, he said, people are reluctant to give perfect scores for financial administration.