“Successful Bond Campaigns- Making the Case for Technology” was the title of a Texas CTO Clinic presentation facilitated by Vicki Smith Bigham (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). You can read my notes for this presentation here, but you’ll want to listen to the podcast to catch some of the points that were made too quickly for me to catch!
Also, my apologies to Vicki, but I cut her introduction out due to the poor quality of the audio and started with Gray Salada’s introduction.
Panel members included the following:
- Gray Salada (Austin ISD)
- Karen Fuller (Klein ISD)
- Lenny Schad (Katy ISD)
Listen to Podcast
Some of the important take-aways:
- What is the baseline for technology that needs to be a component of the bond issue? That needs to be our replacements cycle. PC, laptop, server replacements and network retrofits. These are standard brick-n-mortar and our community expects it.
- Public understands the retrofit, but we have to put C&I in front of that. It gets the public to see this as a C&I requirement/initiative rather than technology focused.
- The most unique part about the bond that passed is a 1to1 initiative with bond funds.
- Engage key members of the community, the commerce group, form a citizens’ bond committee, get campus people who are very involved. They work with the school board and superintendent and get that committee to address this. With this guidance—including facilities folks and do that then have them recommend what the bond should be about. The School Board will hold hearings and then this goes back to Committee, gets adjusted, then discussed again. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt if there is some specific special interest that is a big community item.
- Put a committee together, different depts presented their needs, did assessments of existing facilities, evaluating the buildings, formed a committee of community members, students, every aspect of community we could involve in various meetings. We presented where we needed the money. Our superintendent did not have a free day during the whole bond campaign, including attending bunko games, etc. He was so instrumental in getting the word out, the right type of information, addressing the misnomers…he wanted to get the right, correct information.
- One of the things we’re doing is keeping the info flowing…communication and community involvement are the key factors to help people answer the questions.
- If you can just get your own staff member to vote—campuses and teachers—then your bond election would pass.
- Once the bond election passes…here’s what we were going to spend money on, the timeline, and evaluation of how money was spent. People need to see how bond dollars have been spent.
- By 2011, we’re doing online testing. If you’re going to test online, then you better be teaching online. This is why we’re going this route in our schools. Make videos of technology integration (1to1) with teachers, parents, students talking, and technology baseline standards (document camera, whiteboard, etc). We did the best we could to get the information out to our parents. We were able to show what students need and how it’s impacting what students are doing.
- We have a fundamental blueprint for what the classroom configuration will be. They talk about technology in bond elections.
- We have an educational specification…this is how many drops we have in each classroom, how many computers/printers in each classroom. We have this specification for each grade level and size of school.
- You can build in time to implement. It’s all centered around implementation. Once you go live, then you can’t use bond funding. As an implementation cost, and for a doc mgmt system, I’d do all this work to get it ready for production. You run into a grey area with training. They don’t like to use bond funds for training.
- You have to have an awareness in your community in what they value in the education of their kids. When they don’t understand beyond new construction, technology becomes one of those sacrificial lambs. Anything beyond construction then doesn’t get paid for.
- Need to educate folks on what they can and can’t say. During school hours, you can say fact/fiction. When you’re on your own time, you can say whatever you want.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure