Some supporters of the Wake County school bonds are unhappy with my blog – which was reprinted in The News & Observer Sunday – saying the bond issue is dead with the voters.
I’m not their problem. Their problem is the voters.
And – more specifically – their problem is a failure to realize that God gave us two ears and just one mouth for a reason.
Here is what I mean. The school bond supporters – like a lot of educators – believe they just need to “educate” people about the need for the bonds. In other words, listen to me and you’ll learn what you need to know. Then you’ll do the right thing.
Wrong. The supporters need to listen before they start talking to people.
They need to understand why support for bonds is so weak. Some of the factors probably include:
• General anger about taxes and spending by local governments (including some of the city’s projects)
• Anger about the school transportation theft, which cost taxpayers a lot of money
• Anger about illegal immigration – whether it’s justified or not
• A suspicion that a lot of the bond money will go to plush administrative offices, not classrooms for students
• Anger about the reassignment plan.
People who dismiss polls and focus groups don’t understand how good public opinion research is just good listening.
Once the bond supporters listen better – and respond – they can start selling.
Until then, they won’t be heard.