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May 29, 2024

Iroquois West CUSD 10 – Taxpayer funds used to “survey” the people for new School

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On March 30, 2019

Iroquois Co. (ECWd) –

While reviewing the public records that the Iroquois West Superintended lied about the purpose of our request, I found numerous troubling matters on the credit card statements that we bet the vast majority of the public had no clue of.

CUSD 10 is yet another School District in Illinois pushing for voter support for millions of dollars to support their agenda of building a new school.  While they have numerous claims the public supports this, they never tell you that claimed support was in fact crafted through a well-established plan to ask questions that build a narrative to get them where they want to go.  A plan that is marketed by telling you where the support is so the Administration can focus their marketing narrative on those results.

How many residents of this school district knew Dr. Dvorak and this school board used the credit card to pay for a “survey” in May of 2018, to the tune of $10,687.00 as the first payment?  After contacting the company regarding this charge I found out that billing was for 75% of the actual bill, even though the receipt claims it was for two-thirds of the total, which was $14,250.00 according to this proposal and this agreement signed by Dr. Dvorak.  The Board of Education approved this matter during the April 2018 meeting.   Notice the approval in the minutes make absolutely no reference to the cost to the taxpayers.

What is the “real” purpose behind these surveys using taxpayer funds?

“So the big-picture question is how can the District receive community permission and support for making changes that are needed to provide better educational facilities for students in a cost-effective manner.”

Did you catch that?  How can the District receive community permission and support for making changes?

This very process starts with using your tax dollars to craft a survey.  Those surveys have a purpose, to help their customer build a narrative that they can use to “sell” the community on the idea they need a new school.  This is nothing new it today’s world but sadly most people have no idea it is their money being used to convince them to vote for certain matters all based on opinion questions rather than hard facts, such as real costs for a new school vs. well planned out upgrades for the one you have.  This taxpayer-funded opinion process is a questionable practice that these people have mastered to avoid crossing that fine line of electioneering.  They want you to vote for something but they know they are not allowed to use your money to convince you how to vote.

“Without upfront research, it is difficult to develop a reliable and accurate roadmap or plan for getting from where we are, to where we want to go. In addition, survey research can be a very useful tool for any type of strategic planning planned by a school district.”

It is clear, the purpose of this survey is to develop a reliable and accurate roadmap for getting from where they are to where they want to go, build a new school, and it’s being done with your money.

“effective public opinion research is the foundation of a well-executed communications and facility planning program”

In short, the entire purpose is to help the School District develop a communications program that convinces residents to support their wishes, in this case, a new school.

How many people gave permission for the School to provide their contact information for this survey?  We ask because one of the options they mention for contacting people was to get that information from the District’s parent list according to the proposal.  We would love to hear from anyone that was contacted in this survey to learn how they were contacted and identify if the School provided their private information with or without permission.

“For those households for which we have telephone numbers (we will obtain phone numbers from either the election authorities, our vendor who sells numbers and/or from the District’s parent list), a call will be made asking potential respondents to complete the survey over the phone.”

According to the survey, 55% of the people surveyed support a new school.  This figure comes from combining the “strongly favor” and “favor” figures found on page 9 of the 74-page results.

Yet on page 10, if you combine those that strongly agree and agree they can’t afford to pay higher property tax, the figure reflects 106% can’t afford higher taxes.  The reason it appears to be over 100% is that people may have marked both options.  Regardless, it is clear people can not afford higher property taxes yet this board ignores that result and focuses on the results of questions about feelings and results that support the narrative of passing a $25 Million Dollar referendum.

I put little stock in these kinds of surveys as they are nothing but propaganda tools.  One question the public clearly says they can’t afford higher taxes and then three questions later, worded differently, 88% are willing to pay higher taxes, then a third similar question confirms 67% says the community can’t afford this.

This form of strategizing is known for its success of manipulating questions that result in responses that support the goal.  They never provide supporting evidence to the questions claims and are simply seeking opinions with questions that contain pre-established claims that may or may not even be true. Sure, they have questions that point the other way but not near as many of those type questions and they are never used in the final push to support the reason this was done in the first place.

We encourage educated adults to read this survey report to get a better understanding of how this information was used to push their $58 Million Dollar deception on the voters of Iroquois County.

Using taxpayer funds in this fashion is simply wrong.  While we fully support good business planning to protect the infrastructure of our institutions, it is clear neither this Administration or School Board have done that.  If they had there would be no need to spend over $14,000 dollars to ask the public 26 questions prior to a referendum asking for no less than $25 Million dollars.

Vote Smart, not emotionally!

Stay tuned for the 11-day Lake of the Ozarks vacation retreat on the taxpayer dime.

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  • Paul Nimz
    Posted at 12:33h, 30 March Reply

    This whole thing stinks. One of Iroquois Counties big zoning mantras is protect the farm land. They fight individuals tooth an nail yet here goes a good chunk or prime farm land.

  • james oconnor
    Posted at 13:04h, 30 March Reply

    Surveys don’t always reflect reality. Just ask Hillary Clinton. Those folks down state have a transparency problem within their education system. The state report card for the district is available on line. Its mediocre at best. Reminds me of how Elgin District U-46 landed in the poor house. Six schools for for such a low and aging population seems a bit much to me. Keep in mind that Gov. Pritker will be raising your income tax. Good Luck

  • Harold Tippie
    Posted at 22:59h, 30 March Reply

    The School District seems to have a conundrum on its hands. A year ago they stopped letting parents into the school for the safety of the kids, but now the schools are falling down. Maybe the adults running the school could use a lesson in tenacity to prevent the lesson that accompanies audacity.

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