Superintendent communication skills in a successful school bond election in East Texas

Date
2021-03-12
Authors
Peacock, Ben Summers
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Abstract

Like any physical structure, school facilities age and diminish over time. Without proper maintenance and planning, school facilities may become obsolete, and fail to meet the needs of their students. Local school bond elections finance facilities construction and renovation. Local voters approve or reject bond referendums in a democratic process that demands adequate communication and leadership from the school superintendent. In order to pass bond elections that will improve district facilities, superintendents must be able to effectively communicate to a diverse array of stakeholders. In a bond election, the communication skills of the superintendent can make or break the outcome of the bond proposal, and the obstacles superintendents confront during a bond election are often best addressed with adequate communication. Current research reveals that superintendent communication is important in a bond election. But which superintendent communication skills matter the most? Which superintendent communication skills do stakeholders identify as the most crucial for bond passage? What challenges does a superintendent face during a bond election, and how are those challenges addressed with effective communication? The existing literature has yet to answer these crucial questions. This research study will identify the superintendent communication skills needed to pass a bond election in a small East Texas school district. The research will also analyze the challenges a superintendent confronts during a school bond election, and the manner in which a superintendent’s communication helps overcome those challenges. The research will employ a interpretivist epistemology that values participant experience and a single case study method that seeks to fully understand a single bond election. By informing superintendents of the communication skills necessary to pass a bond election, as well as the challenges that effective communication overcomes, the research hopes to improve the practice of the superintendency.

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