While COVID-19 has left many schools districts and other public entities uncertain about their prospects of success in passing tax-related referenda, comprehensive public engagement programs—coupled with strong citizen-led campaigns—are delivering very positive results.

Leading into 2020, Beyond Your Base’s clients, including school districts hoping to address their highest priority capital facility and operating needs, were moving full steam ahead with plans to seek voter approval of additional funding. Then COVID-19 hit.

For four of BYB's school district clients, the decision was made to put the brakes on pursuing a referendum in 2020. Given the impacts of the pandemic, both known and unknown, attempting to garner strong voter support for a new property tax seemed liked an insurmountable task.

On the other hand, three school district clients decided to move forward with a referendum despite the pandemic. The decision-making process was unique for each client, as were the challenges that each citizen-led campaign committee faced leading up to Election Day. By focusing on taxpayer and other stakeholder engagement, BYB was able to help these districts deliver capital improvement projects that were truly community-driven.

The BYB team has put together an informative recap of the successful referenda at Glenview School District 34 (IL), Weld County RE-5J School District (CO), and Aspen School District (CO) as administrators, parents, and students continue to grapple with the changes and challenges inherent to remote and hybrid learning, and the implications of COVID for the future of each district.

Read the full post on BYB's website.