No charter school on ballot, survey says |

No charter school on ballot, survey says

Nicole Frey

EAGLE – Sure, the Eagle County Charter Academy wants to feel part of the school district but parents in Eagle County arent as welcoming of the charter school. They might be OK with the school hanging out in its modular classrooms in Edwards. Just dont ask for Eagle County Schools money. Charter school representatives say feeling like one of the gang means being included on a bond question that will ask taxpayers for money to deal with school crowding in the district. But during a phone survey of 400 voters in the district, 49 percent said the charter school shouldnt be included in a bond question. The number goes up to 59 percent when just parents of district children are considered. Im not so unsure that anyone at the table would be so surprised by that, said Brian Nolan, president of the charter schools board of directors. Its one of the challenges that the charter school has on its hands its our PR. The perception of our school is different than the reality of our school.PR problems or not, charter school representatives have consistently said they dont want to unduly burden the bond question. But after the results came out, they continued to request the charter school be part of the question.

I think weve gotten to a point where were part of this district, and we dont want to take a step back and be excluded from this, Nolan said. Aside from the charter school issue, voters responded favorably to the survey, according to George K. Baum & Co., the investment banking firm who conducted the test.There is more than sufficient support to pursue a bond at this time, said Ann Nock, of George K. Baum & Co. People who support your bond are also willing to give you money, and we dont usually find that logic. Its much more frequent to see inconsistency in the logic, but its a big benefit to the district. Despite the support, Nock cautioned that people who answer surveys dont always make it out to vote. On the upside, Nock said in her experience, school districts that start and maintain active campaigns get the vote out in their favor 95 percent of the time. Thats the next challenge. And the district is tackling it by forming a citizens committee that will work on the campaign. As for the Eagle County Schools Board of Directors, board members will discuss what theyd like to see go on the bond during a July 12 school board meeting. While no vote will be taken, the board is expected to narrow down its wish list. Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or Vail, Colorado

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