By Joe DiBenedetto, Managing Director

Before the pandemic and the recent challenges presented by rising inflation, school districts across the country had an easier time passing bond millages (or bond referendums) thanks to the booming economy. With the strong economy seemingly behind us—at least for the near future—school districts may find it more difficult garnering support from the community on millages.

Maintaining and building community support is critical for schools looking to pass a future millage. It’s vital to continuously keep residents—especially those who don’t have children in school—informed about the positive developments and activities taking place throughout the district. Your community must be aware of the value the district brings and why it is to their benefit to support it.

At the upcoming MASA 2022 Fall Conference, I will have the pleasure of joining Randy Liepa, former superintendent of Wayne RESA, to present “Launching a Winning Bond Millage in an Uncertain Economy,” providing superintendents from across Michigan with an easy-to-follow process to get the community to vote “yes.” During our discussion, we will focus on planning, campaign development and implementation, offering a sound strategy for generating the support needed to pass a multi-million-dollar bond referendum.

From plan creation and getting a feel for where residents stand to telling your district’s story and developing key messages, putting together a winning bond campaign doesn’t happen overnight. And when facing an unstable economy, it takes the ability to convince a concerned community that continued investment in its children and schools is the right decision for future growth.

If you’re scheduled to attend the MASA 2022 Fall Conference, please join Randy Liepa and me on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 3:45 p.m. and take the first step to get your next bond millage passed.