The West Hempstead school district brought its exit poll into the digital age this year, allowing voters to participate in the annual survey electronically after casting their ballots Tuesday in the school budget and board elections.
Exactly 252, or 15 percent, of the 1,677 residents who voted on the budget this year opted to take the few minutes afterwards to sit down at one of the small laptops set-up inside the gym to take the survey.
The district released the findings of the poll Tuesday night shortly after announcing the. (In case you missed them, the budget did pass and Trustees James Mariano and Carole Rilling were re-elected. Karen Brohm won the vacant seat.)
What did the exit poll reveal about West Hempstead voters this year? Here's some of the highlights. The full report is attached (see PDF section to the right) or you can view it on the district's Web site.
Of those who participated in the survey:
- 82 percent supported the budget.
- "Quality of Education" was "the single greatest factor in determining how" 55 percent of them voted. Twenty percent were motivated by "taxes and finances."
- Most - 82 percent - usually do vote on the budget each year.
- The district's Web site and publications were the best sources of information about the budget for them, followed by local media including Patch and the Herald.
- 40 percent described the district's educational programs as "very good;" Others answered that they were "satisfactory" (26 percent) or "excellent" (20 percent). Very few (5 percent) rated them "poor."
- When asked which non-mandated areas they would most want to preserve in the future, Advanced Placement and college-level courses had the most support, but interest in maintaining art, music, interscholastic sports and student clubs was comparable.
- There was an almost even split of voters with and without school age children.
- Most (67 percent) of those with children used the public schools over the private schools to educate them.
- The few that did choose to provide additional feedback pleaded that the district "do as much for the special education kids as possible" and to "keep the district moving forward."
Didn't participate in the survey? Tell us how you would you have responded to the questions in the comments space below.