Strong community support for this district in most cases would have translated into easy passage of a $17 million bond request that did not increase the overall tax burden on its community. But the district took a calculated risk and included some key projects that the community rated as ‘low priority’ projects in survey work. Nelson Research advised the district that there was most likely enough goodwill and support in the community to allow for potential approval of these projects, but it was a calculated risk. The measure passed with 53% support.

Lesson Learned: Money requests are only as strong as the weakest component. Including projects that the community ranks as ‘low priority’ requires real research and analysis to understand if the district or local government has enough support in the community to push these projects past the finish line. In this case, the Dallas School District’s reputation and credibility in the community gave them greater latitude with voters.