Community Survey Results

July 2006
Residents rate Arcadia schools to be among the best in the state and nation

Arcadia residents feel strongly about maintaining the high quality of their schools and recognize they are in need of additional funds. According to a recent public opinion research survey conducted in June by the respected firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, 89% of residents believe Arcadia schools to be among the best in the State and 73% rank them the best in the nation. Fifty-nine percent of voters would support a bond measure for Arcadia schools outright, with support increasing to 64% after they received information about school needs.

“Our community understands the high quality of education provided by our programs, teachers, and staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Mimi Hennessy. “If we want to maintain this high level of excellence, we need to invest in our aging and deteriorating school buildings and classrooms and properly improve our schools to meet educational needs well into the future.”

Based on interviews with 600 residents across the community, the survey found that voters consider repairs and upgrades of existing schools, school safety, and improving computer technology, science labs and classrooms to be extremely/very important. Approximately three-quarters of respondents believe it is extremely/very important to repair outdated and deteriorating electrical systems and wiring and remove hazardous materials, such as lead paint from the schools.

“A bond measure can improve the quality of education at our neighborhood schools. By upgrading science labs, classrooms, and computer learning classrooms, improving school libraries, and renovating arts and music education classrooms, we can make sure children have the tools they need to learn and excel,” said Sandy McGrath, former Teacher of the Year.

Over the coming weeks, Arcadia USD will conduct community outreach to answer questions and get additional input on a plan to repair and upgrade existing schools and build new classrooms in the most fiscally responsible manner possible. A Proposition 39 Bond is seriously being considered. “Any plan we propose will include independent fiscal audits, citizens’ oversight, and other accountability safeguards,” said Dr. Hennessy.