Beginning with the May 16, 2019 Board meeting, the District held several public meetings to gather community input regarding its intent to transition to by-trustee area elections. During this process, criteria for by-trustees area boundaries were developed and input from the public was considered before the Board selected by-trustee area map #101C. The County Committee approved the District’s transition request during their August 12 meeting.
The California State Board of Education approved the District's request to waive the election requirement to approve a transition from an at-large election to a by-trustee area election during their September 11 Board meeting. By-trustee area elections will now begin on a staggering schedule beginning with the 2020 elections. In 2020, trustee-areas four and five will be up for election and in 2022, trustee-areas, one, two, and three will be up for election.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between at-large and by-trustee area elections?
Campbell Union High School District has always had an at-large election system, where voters of the entire District elect members to the Board of Trustees. The District has initiated the process to establish election areas (trustee areas) that would be roughly equal in population and in compliance with California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), the Federal Voting Rights Act, and the United States Constitution. Using census data, the District’s demographer, National Demographics, Inc will create conceptual trustee area scenarios that divide the District into five new voting areas.
Will this impact where my student goes to school?
No, the district’s transition from at-large to by-trustee area voting will have no impact on school attendance zones.
Will the transition impact the representation of parent voters in the District?
The transition from the at-large election system to the by-trustee election system will not impact the number of voters or parents within the District's boundaries. Every four years registered voters in the Campbell Union High School District will have the opportunity to vote and decide on one candidate for the Board of Trustees. The main difference is voters will only be able to vote for one candidate based on their trustee-area. We are committed to establishing trustee areas that will offer equal representation across our school district to ensure our Board of Trustees is representative of our community's diversity and interests.
Why choose to move to by-trustee area voting?
The Board of Trustees made the decision to transition to the by-trustee election system to ensure compliance with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). Recently, many cities, school districts and other public entities have been challenged under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), leading to very expensive and divisive litigation about their election process. The CUHSD Board of Trustees are committed to avoiding expenditures that do not directly benefit the children, families, and communities we serve. While CUHSD believes its elections have not been racially polarized, a move to by-trustee area elections enables us to prevent costly litigation in the future and ensure compliance under the law.
What is the CVRA?
The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) prohibits the use of any election system “that impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election.” Jurisdictions can be sued if they elect their governing body using an at-large, from districts, or mixed election system. If the court finds against a jurisdiction, the jurisdiction must change its election system and pay the plaintiff’s attorneys, experts, and other expenses.
What criteria are used to create election districts?
Many factors may be considered, but population equality is the most important.
Other factors are used in the creation of election districts including:
How can I get involved and influence the trustee areas?
The process will include hosting a series of public meetings to collect community input regarding the proposed area maps and allowing community members to view the conceptual trustee area scenarios and provide comments. Following community input, it is anticipated that the Board of Trustees will choose the final map at a meeting in the Summer of 2019.
How will creating voting districts affect me?
During every election cycle, registered voters in the CUHSD will have the opportunity to vote for a candidate for School Board who lives in their trustee area. Registered voters will not be able to vote for school board candidates from areas in which they do not reside.