For the Killeen Independent School District’s potential bond that tops $400 million, the results of a community survey indicated 57 percent of those participating would approve the bond, while 38 percent oppose it.

The community survey was part of the bond steering committee’s process to prioritize projects presented by KISD for the potential bond issue planned for the May 5 ballot. The committee’s ultimate recommendation of a $426 million bond issue will be presented to the KISD board of trustees at the board’s Dec. 12 meeting.

KISD officials are saying the survey results are a sign of strong support for the bond.

“Now there is a scientifically valid survey showing very strong voter support for a bond,” said KISD spokesman Terry Abbott.

Mike Helm, a member of the KISD’s bond steering committee, challenged the validity. Helm was called by surveyors for Baselice & Associates of Austin, who conducted the survey for the KISD bond process.

At the Thursday night bond steering committee meeting, Helm rose to speak about the survey.

“I randomly got selected,” Helm said. He had issues with the way the survey questions were asked by the Baselice staff. “The results might not be quite as good as what the survey appears that they are in my mind.”

Matt Gamble, vice president of operations for Baselice & Associates, presented the community survey results at the bond steering committee meeting Thursday night.

Projects to be included on the recommended bond issue:

• Renovations to bring existing campuses into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and address security/safety issues.

• New high school to open for 2022-2023 school year.

• Consolidation of East Ward and West Ward elementary schools with construction of a new East Ward school.

• Consolidation of Pershing Park and Sugar Loaf elementary schools, with partial rezoning of Bellaire Elementary School, and construction of a new Pershing Park school.

• New elementary school to open for 2022-2023 school year.

• Renovate and expand Clifton Park Elementary School, with partial rezoning of Bellaire Elementary School.

• Renovations to Killeen High School.

The community survey took place Nov. 16-26, according to Gamble. From a master list of 25,000 to 30,000 phone numbers of registered voters living in KISD boundaries, the responses of 401 individuals were compiled for the results.

The margin of error for the survey was plus-or-minus 4.9 percent.

As Gamble said, the key objective for the community survey was “to assess the current levels of support and opposition to a $500 million bond proposal.”

Gamble acknowledged, “This survey is a snapshot in time of voters’ opinions.”

A snapshot based on less than 1 percent of the district’s total population of about 178,000, and less than 1 percent of the district’s 100,543 registered voters, according to Matt Dutton, Bell County assistant elections administrator.

A snapshot KISD believes is “scientifically valid,” according to Abbott.

Baselice outlined the methodology:

“The survey was conducted via telephone (45 percent cellphone and 55 percent landline). The survey began by asking respondents if they were registered voters. Only those who answered ‘yes’ were permitted to continue. Sample regions were created using ZIP codes. The desired number of respondents within each sample region was established using an average of voter registration and turnout figures. Gender target response numbers were established with each region consistent with voter registration and turnout.

“Results were slightly weighted within the regions for age, race/ethnicity and usual voter behavior to ensure the sample is reflective of Killeen ISD voters.

“Killeen ISD has a Republican to Democrat ratio of 0.99. This was calculated using the base GOP vote (45.01%) and base Democrat vote (45.51%) over the last two general elections (2106 and 2014). The survey contained 41.1% GOP voters and 42.9% Democrat voters equating to a ratio of 0.96. The racial/ethnic breakdown of Killeen ISD voters was calculated using a blend of census figures and voter turnout.”

Gamble described the results in light of the fact, “Older voters are more likely to vote.” To that end, Baselice made sure to tell older voters KISD’s bond issue would have no impact on their property taxes, as long as the senior citizens had filed for that exemption.

The way questions were asked in the survey also affected the results, Gamble said. If participants were asked first whether they would approve of a $225 million bond, those who agreed might change to disapproval as they were asked about a $400 million, $500 million or $600 million bond.

But, Gamble said, when participants were first asked about a $600 million bond, then a $500 million bond, more were likely to agree with the lower amount.

Gamble highlighted how the 401 participants were distributed through the district. On a map designated by area ZIP codes, 97 individuals in the north-central area were surveyed, with 108 in the eastern section. On the west section of the map, 89 people were surveyed, and 107 in the south central section.

Grace Evans lives in what was designated on Baselice’s map as the south-central region. She received a call from Baselice regarding the survey. When she answered her phone, the caller said, “We need to speak to a male registered voter.”

Evans asked, “Why not a female registered voter?”

The caller replied, “We’re only speaking to male registered voters.”

Evans was not permitted to participate in the survey for that reason, she said.

Additional questions about the survey results stem from the reported margin of error, plus-or-minus 4.9 percent. That means all the results could swing five points up or down.

The results of what Baselice called the “informed ballot” — asking whether participants in the survey would approve a $500 million bond after being told about the advantages and disadvantages of the bond issue — were listed in Gamble’s presentation with 57 percent approval and 38 percent against. The margin of error means those numbers could actually be 52 percent approval and 43 percent against, or 62 percent approval and 33 percent against.

According to Businesswire.com, a Berkshire-Hathaway company, many factors can play into the margin of error, as well.

Nonresponse errors: Pollsters often do not complete interviews with most of the people they intend to survey because they are not available or refuse to be interviewed.

Errors due to question wording or question order: The answers to questions are sometimes influenced by such things as how the questions are posed, what questions were asked earlier in the survey, or which responses are presented to the respondent, among other things.

Errors due to interviewers: Interviewers sometimes influence, often unconsciously, the answers given by the people they survey (e.g. social desirability, acquiescence bias, researcher expectancy effects, etc.).

Weighting errors: Most polls are “weighted” statistically to compensate for demographic and other biases in the survey sample; this is an imperfect process. Weighting the data can cause errors in the results.

According to the firm’s website, “Michael Baselice, president of Baselice & Associates, Inc., has conducted over 1,800 quantitative and qualitative research projects over the last 20 years.”

Research by the Killeen Daily Herald shows Baselice specializes in Republican political campaigns and polling. He worked on the Trump campaign in 2016, and for Gov. Greg Abbott and former Gov. Rick Perry.

254-501-7568 | jferraro@kdhnews.com

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(7) comments

Alvin

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

eyewatchingu

@Alvin I always ignore Daily major as he reminds me of the bully on the playground that forces others to go his way or he will get his friends to slander and beat you up. He is the type that will try to have you arrested by setting you up, or getting his friends to tell lies about you as to slander you so people will not hear the truth.
He is just a spoiled brat that has never been told no in his life. He has gotten away everything his whole life and never had work for anything.

So I like most across the city will vote no on this bond, as we the citizens are sick of this type of behavior running our city. The city no longer belongs to any family, it belongs to everyone.
It is time we boot these type of people out of office and start cleaning our city up. Making Killeen the place all people are welcome, and most of all affordable to all, specially affordable to those that served our country and retired here. It is time Killeen stops milking the older folks and our service members of their money.

Vote NO on this BOND send the message that we citizens are sick of paying for wasteful spending, and for the Kings of Killeen to keep getting rich off the backs of the common working citizens.

Its time we say No to those that have never heard the word NO in their life time!

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@dailymajor: You interest me. You are one of those that if you don't get your way, the you pick up your marbles and slink home complaining all the way.

I won't speak for eyewatchingu: but it seems to me that you have a set plan for what needs to be done and if anyone disputes your quest for leadership, you contest this fact and shrivel up. Nobody knows but you. Well I have seen the 'real world' and it's not the picture you try to paint. You know, you would be surprised if just for once you would 'open your eyes and see what has transpired'. You know, there are other ideas, but you don't, or won't accept the that fact.

My suggestion, and it was a suggestion, on trying to something a little bit different, seems to fall on deaf ears. So you can continue on your path of enlightenment and I'll continue to vote no on each and every proposal you put forth.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

dailymajor

Eye and Alvin, you both really need to go straight down to the KISD admin office early Monday morning and tell Dr. Craft about how the district ought to be run. School him on the facilities, students, millions of dollars involved, different funds involved,expenditures, future growth expectations, local, state, and federal expectations and laws, etc. Then, when you finish teaching Dr. Craft, go to the board members individually, and tell them all about the school business. I am certain that they, along with Dr. Craft, would love to hear your input. since you know more about all the issues involved with KISD than they do.

eyewatchingu

If Killeen would have invested in the development of curriculum then many people would understand the word and term development of curriculum
scientific.

Definition of scientific
1
: of, relating to, or exhibiting the methods or principles of science
2
: conducted in the manner of science or according to results of investigation by science : practicing or using thorough or systematic methods scientific advertising scientific baby care a scientific boxer

Main Entry: scientific method
Function: noun
: the rules and procedures for the pursuit of knowledge involving the finding and stating of a problem, the collection of facts through observation and experiment, and the making and testing of ideas that need to be proven right or wrong

Now lets take a look at the definition of Definition of unscientific:
: not scientific : not based on or exhibiting scientific knowledge or scientific methodology : not in accord with the principles and methods of science an +unscientific survey, unscientific claims an unscientific approach

Hmm, lets looks at this part: unscientific survey Definition
Interviews or surveys with samples of citizens that are used to estimate the feelings and beliefs of the entire population. Term. Straw Poll. Definition. Unscientific survey used to gauge public opinion on a variety of issues and policies.

So once again, this is why we need to invest our money into Books, teachers and studies. Not into a brick building that will not teach our kids.

Now ask yourself, if those that are leading this bond steering committee do not even understand the words that they are saying, how can we trust that those on the bond steering committee are being told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the facts.

Once again this proves that our city leaders think that the average person in Killeen TX is stupid. They do this as a way to make themselves feel special and to try and put the Killeen citizens to shame. If this is what our teachers are teaching our kids, I hope every parent goes up to the school and ask each and every teacher what these words mean, and then ask themselves if they really want to invest in a school system that is not teaching basic comprehension skills. As Mr or Mrs Abbott has proven once again with his or her comment that KISD has failed in this area and that is the main reason our school system is failing.

Or just maybe he needs a refresher course in science.
In science, a hypothesis is an idea or explanation that you then test through study and experimentation. Outside science, a theory or guess can also be called a hypothesis. A hypothesis is something more than a wild guess but less than a well-established theory.

Vote No to these bonds, as when you vote No to these bonds you will be voting for better curriculum and demanding our schools to teach educational things and not falsehoods.

centexdave

People who rent need to realize that if this bond passes their rent will go up.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

Now which is it: 'KISD panel recommends $426 million bond
Package would fund new schools, repairs and renovations', or the latest: 'Survey was part of proposed $426 million KISD bond process'. Will the real article please stand up. I guess that if an article has any negative comments in it, it is re-written so that this city, in it's entirety 'continues to have a positive image'. Oh yeah, I can believe that.

Well there is a flurry of numbers in this article, and sometimes they even make sense, I think.

But to get back to what we re supposed to be talking about, new schools, I still would like to know 'why this school board and this steering committee does not want to put anything on paper where the steering committee can see first hand, 'what the school will look like', and include the items that the steering committee recommends to be placed in that particular school. Then with the placement of the school, the particulars that have been included and the size of the school, and preliminary design parameters can be established and an estimate of cost could be established. Then you can be fairly certain that a cost for a new school will be acceptable, that is if the school is not too flamboyant in nature. No $1 million dollar score boards please.

But what we have been given is a star chart, 'oh there's one, and another one'. My analogy of proposing apples and oranges depicts fruit salad, not firm estimations of what the school would look like.

This estimated cost breakdown along with the 'random telephone survey', well it's another framework of the fruit salad concept.

Copy: “The survey was conducted via telephone (45 percent cellphone and 55 percent landline). The survey began by asking respondents if they were registered voters. Only those who answered ‘yes’ were permitted to continue. Sample regions were created using ZIP codes. The desired number of respondents within each sample region was established using an average of voter registration and turnout figures. Gender target response numbers were established with each region consistent with voter registration and turnout.'

Continuation of copy: '“Results were slightly weighted within the regions for age, race/ethnicity and usual voter behavior to ensure the sample is reflective of Killeen ISD voters.' End of copy.

Sounds like the way slaves were counted in determining population, it took 5 to qualify as one vote. What's with the 'weighting of averages' that was used in determining what the actual output is going to be.

As I've said before: 'Renovations to bring existing campuses into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and address security/safety issues.' This should be done with or without a bond issue as we already have the money. Why wasn't this done before or are we just now recognizing the need for renovations necessary to bring existing campuses into compliance'????
Copy: 'A snapshot based on less than 1 percent of the district’s total population of about 178,000, and less than 1 percent of the district’s 100,543 registered voters, according to Matt Dutton, Bell County assistant elections administrator.'
Continuation of copy: 'A snapshot KISD believes is “scientifically valid,” according to Abbott.' End of copy.

Well I disagree. If you do not survey an equal number from a certain district, you quantify 'male registered voters only', take older voters telling them 'it would not raise their property taxes as long as they had filed for the exemption', and you used a weighted value that was inversely proportional to the dollar amount, IE: 'if you asked whether or not they would approve a $225 million, then a $400 million, a $500 million, or a $600 million rather than asking the dollar amounts in a reverse order. Of course, when asking for a percentage breakdown, it is more likely that an individual would select the lower amount. That is human nature, not a scientific polling of questions.

And you think that demonstrates sufficient numbers to quantify a valid sampling of the KISD pool of voters???? I think not. I am of the opinion that the school district just wasted a lot of money that could have been used for the development of curriculum.

I am of the opinion that if you want to quantify citizen's money for a bond that is used to build schools, you should first know what you are asking for, but that is not the case in the KISD. Do your homework, decide on what's desired verses what is necessary, and then ask for only what is necessary, not a $700 million, $600 million, $500 million, $400 million, $300 million, and on down to $225 million and see what sticks to the wall.

No, under these circumstances, I will not vote in any way for a school bond that is so loosely defined as this one is, the same way as I will not vote for a bond issue for roadway issues that only support a portion of the citizens. In summation, 'the portion of the whole is expected to give 100 percent, not a fraction thereof'. No I will not support that either.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

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