Asumag 2654 Headshot Joe Agron

Editor's Focus: Making It Matter

Sept. 1, 2016
A school bond election held this summer illustrates the difference one vote makes.

A school bond election held this summer illustrates the difference one vote makes. 

The General Shafter school district, a rural institution south of Bakersfield, Calif., proposed a $40 million bond issue for facility improvements that lost by a single vote. According to officials, if one “no” vote was changed to a “yes,” the funding would have been approved.

Although most bond elections are not this close, the General Shafter result does show that—as the saying goes—“every vote matters.” 

Hundreds of bond issues for capital expenditures and construction ranging from the very small to the massively large are put on the ballot annually by education institutions nationwide. It’s easy to envision smaller institutions being susceptible to decisions determined by a few votes, but larger institutions also must fight for every vote to ensure successful capital campaigns.

Just ask many of the institutions appearing in the latest AS&U 100—where putting capital expenditure bond issues before public vote to address facility, construction and enrollment issues is a regular occurrence. 

This year’s AS&U 100 continues to chart the largest school districts and colleges in the United States, and includes various data about each of the institutions and how they compare. Results are broken out by K-12 school districts and higher-education institutions. 

For school districts, data include enrollment, spending, enrollment change, and more. Similar information is provided for higher-education institutions.

In addition, a wealth of intelligence is available on in the Web Exclusive section. Some of the information you will find include an expanded list of the top 200 U.S. school districts and the top 50 higher-education institutions with various data on each; interactive maps identifying the geographic location of the various school districts and higher-education institutions making up the list; a gallery of the 10 largest school districts with mini-profiles of each; and a variety of other data.

Hopefully, you will find this year’s AS&U 100, as well as the expanded information available at’s Web Exclusive section, of value.

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