August 16, 2007

Online Survey Seeks Input About Splitting School Districts

By Leigh Dethman and Jennifer Toomer-Cook Deseret Morning News

Want to weigh in on the small-school-district debate? Go online.

Salt Lake County Council Chairman Mark Crockett and a friend used their own funds to set up an online survey to query residents on their thoughts of splitting the Granite and Jordan school districts.

The survey, found at, has only been up and running for a couple of weeks. And so far, the feedback is minimal, with only about 50 people filling out the survey, Crockett said.

"We haven't had many people respond," Crockett said. "I'd love to tell you that I knew something really statistical from it."

The brief survey asks people to give opinions on the school district split and public education in general.

For instance, it asks visitors to rate the quality of public schools on a scale of excellent to falling behind, and what they view as the most important issues in the county, from environment to schools, parks to taxes.

It also asks visitors if smaller school districts are a good idea and whether they want to vote on a small school district proposal this November. The survey tries to gauge concerns over the issue, including increased costs, equitable funding, programs, viability of schools and who gets to vote.

"If your concerns were answered, would you then ... be in favor of voting on the smaller district?" poses another question.

The survey also seeks open-ended comments on the issue.

Crockett said he paid for the survey because he wanted more public input before the Salt Lake County Council decides whether to ask voters this November if the Granite and Jordan districts should be divided.

"I wasn't sure how the issues were shaping up, and I wanted to make sure we had the right issues out on the table first," Crockett said.

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