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Survey: Residents happy with Farmington schools

Farmington residents have a better opinion of their school district today than they did two years ago.

According to a survey the district conducted in April, 63 percent of district residents said the quality of education in Farmington schools was good and another 25 percent said it was excellent. The good rating is down from 66 percent in 2012, but the excellent rating is up from 18 percent.

The district also had fewer residents who rated the quality of education either fair (8 percent, down from 11 percent in 2012) or poor (1 percent).

The Morris Leatherman Company conducted the survey between April 2 and April 18. The same company conducted the 2012 survey and another in 2007.

“The district has come a long way in seven years,” Bill Morris told board members at a Monday night meeting. “It’s come even farther in two.”

Asked to compare the quality of schools in Farmington to what they were five years ago, 9 percent of respondents said it was much better and 33 percent said it was somewhat better.

The district’s iPad program also got positive marks from residents. 51 percent of respondents said effective use of technology in schools is “absolutely essential” and another 31 percent said it was very important. 49 percent of district residents said they support the district’s plan to integrate iPads into the classroom. Another 23 percent said they strongly support the plan.

Tax increases

The district also used the survey to test the waters for a possible bond referendum in the fall. The district has talked about asking voters for money to pay for security enhancements, deferred maintenance and technology expenditures, among other things.

While last month’s survey found that 49 percent of residents think school taxes are high, it also found that 62 percent could be persuaded to support a tax increase depending on how the money would be used. 21 percent said they would oppose a tax increase no matter how the district planned to use the money.

Of the three specific categories covered in the survey, 72 percent of residents said they would support a tax increase to pay for deferred maintenance on school buildings, 74 percent said they would pay more for security enhancements and 73 percent said they would pay more to maintain technology offerings.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606