Passing Operating and Bond Referenda in the New Normal

When it comes to passing school operating or bond referenda, what does it take to get to the “yes” vote? Executing an effective campaign and garnering the votes needed to pass a school tax election for either operating money or for capital projects requires school leaders, community organizers, and policy makers to work together on a shared vision – and strategy – to enhance teaching and learning.

Planning and executing successful school tax elections is one of the challenging aspects of school leadership. The negative consequences of unsuccessful operating and facility referenda impact students, staff, and the community as a whole. Hear two unique perspectives:

  1. From the school board perspective when a bond for construction was needed to fund multiple school expansions, a replacement building, and district-wide technology, safety and security upgrades.
  2. From a superintendent who listened to the community, educated the public, and successfully passed their referendum with a high margin, proving the level of connection by mobilizing thousands of community members to advocate for improvements, ultimately securing of the vote to endorse the proposal.

Attend this webinar and learn successful practices that will significantly improve your odds of success on Election Day.

Learning Objectives

  1. Review strategies for involving diverse groups of stakeholders at various points in formulating the ballot proposal and organization of the campaign, strategies used, and lessons learned.
  2. Identify key steps, processes, and essential timing in a Referendum/Bond Formation Plan.
  3. Learn best practices and hear some examples of “what not to do”.
  4. Understand engagement techniques used to ensure the process is continuously communicated as well as how it is made transparent.

Broadcast Date

March 16, 2022, 12:00 PM (ET)

Purchase Price

Member: $0.00
Non-Member Price: $25.00

Meet the Presenters


Dr. Mike Redmond
Shakopee Public Schools

Dr. Mike Redmond is the Superintendent for Shakopee Public Schools. Previously, he served as the Superintendent for Goodhue Public Schools in Goodhue, Minnesota for five years. Prior to Goodhue Public Schools, Redmond was the Executive Director of Secondary Education for Stillwater Area Public Schools, where he led the Teaching and Learning Department and supervised the secondary principals. Redmond’s experience also includes serving as the principal of John Glenn Middle School in Maplewood, MN, assistant principal for North High School in North St. Paul, and a social studies teacher for Mahtomedi High School in Mahtomedi, MN.


Dr. Don Lifto
Baker Tilly

Dr. Don Lifto is a director with Baker Tilly, focusing primarily on planning and conducting community surveys for school districts and municipalities and helping school districts plan and execute school tax elections when a vote of the public is required to obtain additional funding. Before joining Baker Tilly in April 2019, Don was a senior and executive vice president with Springsted Incorporated for 13+ years. He previously served as a public-school superintendent in Minnesota for 25 years.


Dr. Rachel Wisnefski
The Amos Group, the parent company of SchoolBondFinder & SchoolNetwork
Chief Revenue Officer

Dr. Rachel Wisnefski is Chief Revenue Officer at The Amos Group, the parent company of SchoolBondFinder & SchoolNetwork. Rachel brings over 15 years of experience having previously served as The Amos Group’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. She is also Beaufort County Board of Education, District 7 Representative serving the diverse and rapidly growing Bluffton, SC population of over 15,000 constituents and District student body of over 22,000. Rachel also was appointed and served from 2019-2021 on the Beaufort-Jasper Academy of Career Excellence Board of Trustees.