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The Roadmap to Yes –
A Referendum Series

Posted By Kevin Hickman On April 4, 2017
Elementary students wearing JP Cullen hard hats holding Vote Yes sign at Edergton Community Elementary School

In an educational climate that calls for innovation and flexible learning environments, while demonstrating good financial stewardship and fiscal responsibility, how do you get to the point where the taxpayers in your District will support a referendum?  Whether asking for permission to issue bonds or exceed revenue limits, there is a proven, adaptable, and scalable process that you can utilize to give your District the best opportunity for referendum success.

Referenda are a fact of life, often a necessity, for K-12 and Technical College education leaders.  However, education professionals are in the business of educating, and often don’t have the necessary experience, time, knowledge, or support to plan and execute an effective referendum effort.

A Referendum Process is a Team Effort

A referendum process is not a thing or an event.  It must be an ongoing, daily part of the overall strategic planning and execution in your District, around facilities, operations, hiring the best staff, and educating students.  The process requires the involvement of the school board, administration, staff, parents, students, media, local thought leaders, supporters, detractors, and ultimately the taxpayers.  It really is a team effort.  Consensus among the team is critical, and consistency of the team’s approach is a must.

Referenda are not easy.  In fact, referenda take an incredible amount of hard work by everyone involved.  However, hard work (and smart work) does pay incredible dividends on Election Day.  The great news is successful referenda are not the result of some secret sauce or elaborate scheme.  Successful referenda are often successful because a simple, proven plan is tailored to the unique dynamics of a District, and the plan is executed as intended.

The Roadmap to Yes

JP Cullen has developed a referendum process called The Roadmap to Yes, created by our Referendum Expert, Kevin Hickman, who has supported over $300 million in facility and operational referenda in just the past five years.  We are going to share these steps month by month as a guide for your District and encourage you to contact Kevin Hickman at 608.754.6601 or kevin.hickman@jpcullen.com with any questions along the way.

Tune in next month for our first step or download the Referendum Roadmap here for a sneak peek.

Check out how we teamed up with Edgerton School District to get their referendum passed!

Elementary students at Edgerton Elementary Community School wearing JP Cullen hard hats

Filed Under Education