REMINDER: Public Hearing TODAY About New RUSD Board of Education Election Process

Public Hearing TODAY AT 4 PM
Rowland Unified School District Office
1830 S. Nogales Street, Rowland Heights

The Rowland Unified School District Board of Education took action and adopted Resolution SO-17-18:01 on September 14, 2017, to transition to a "By-Trustee Area" electoral system commencing with the November 2020 election to ensure compliance with the California Voter Rights Act (CVRA).

The Board will hold a public hearing TODAY AT 4 PM to receive input from the community on the criteria that will be utilized to establish the Trustee Area Map and identify the trustee areas in which elections will be held in 2020 and 2022.

Prior to the opening of the Public Hearing, Larry Ferchaw from Cooperative Strategies will present information on the transition from at-large elections to by trustee area elections. The public hearing is for all interested parties to provide comments.


Transition to By-Trustee Area Election
 
The Rowland Unified School District (RUSD) Board of Education will hold four required public hearings, as well as additional community meetings, to discuss transitioning from an at-large to by-trustee area Board election process. Under the current “at-large” system, all registered voters within the District’s boundaries are able to vote for candidates for all open Board member seats. Under the new proposed system, as required by the California Voting Rights Act, candidates will be elected by “trustee areas.” This means that only voters within a given trustee area can vote for candidates who reside within that same area.   Each Board member (trustee) must reside within the designated trustee-area boundary, and is elected only by the voters in that trustee area. Under the by-trustee area system, voters would only vote for one seat on the school board if that seat is open during the election year.  
 
Pursuant to Education Code section 35012, the RUSD Board of Education is currently elected under an at-large election system, where trustees are elected by voters in the entire District. Trustees are elected in even-number years and serve staggered, four-year terms, such that the next election for the two trustee seats is scheduled for November 2020, with the remaining trustee seats scheduled for election in November 2022.
 
Under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), at-large elections are impermissible if they result in racially polarized voting. Racially polarized voting is defined as "voting in which there is a difference... in the choice of candidates or other electoral choices that are preferred by voters in a protected class, and in the choice of candidates and electoral choices that are preferred by voters in the rest of the electorate."
 
While the District does not believe that its current form of elections violates the CVRA, it does believe that it is in the public interest to begin the process to transition from at-large to trustee-area elections to minimize the potential for impermissible racially-polarized voting. 
 
SCHEDULED PUBLIC HEARINGS TO DATE:
 
Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 4 p.m.
  • Purpose: To receive input on the criteria to consider when developing trustee areas as well as the composition of the trustee areas. This input is intended to assist with the development of the draft maps to be later considered by the Board.
  • Location: Rowland Unified School District Office, 1830 S. Nogales Street, Rowland Heights 91748
 
Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 6 p.m.
  • Purpose: On November 14, the demographer’s proposed maps will be presented to the Board. Following the presentation, the Board will hold the first of two statutorily required public hearings to receive community input on the proposed trustee-area maps.
  • Location: Rowland Unified School District Office, 1830 S. Nogales Street, Rowland Heights 91748
 
Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 6 p.m.
  • Purpose: The Board will hold the second of two statutorily required public hearings to receive input on proposed trustee-area maps.
  • Location: Rowland Unified School District Office, 1830 S. Nogales Street, Rowland Heights 91748
View Trustee Area Process Presentation From Oct. 10
Board of Education Public Hearing
CLICK HERE to view a copy of the presentation presented by Cooperative Strategies on October 10, 2019 Board of Education Meeting and the Public Hearing.
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Will this impact where my student goes to school?
No, the Rowland Unified School District's transition from an At-Large to By-Trustee Area voting will have no impact on school attendance zones.

How many trustee areas will be established?
Five separate By-Trustee voting areas will be established within the district boundary map.

How will RUSD determine the trustee area map?
An independent demographer will develop several map options for purposes of discussion that best align with the criteria established and adopted by the Board. Public hearings will be conducted on October 10 and October 24, prior to the creation of map options to determine desired criteria for trustee areas. The public hearing discussion about the process is on October 24, 2019
at 4 p.m. After receiving community feedback the Board of Education will adopt a resolution outlining the desired criteria to be used in the developement of trustee area maps. Map options will then be shared with the public to provide input during Public Hearings on November 14, 2019 and December 12, 2019.

When will this change go into effect?
It is the intent of the Board of Education to have By-Trustee area voting in place for the 2020 General Election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

For more information please email cvra@rowlandschools.org 
October 11, 2019 Issue Questions? Contact RUSD News Editor gward@rowlandschools.org
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