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Transition to a New System of Electing Governing Board Members

En Español

February 12, 2021

Dear SCUSD Families and Community: 

I am writing to provide an update and encourage your participation in an important process led by the Santa Clara Unified School District Governing Board, the Board of Trustees. On January 19, 2021, the district initiated the process of transitioning the method by which Governing Board members are elected. Under the current hybrid system, all registered voters in the district’s boundaries can vote for candidates for board member seats from trustee areas. The current system is considered an “at-large” system. Under the new proposed system, candidates will be elected by equally populated “trustee areas.” The new system is considered a “by-trustee area” system and conforms with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). This means only voters within a given trustee area can vote for candidates who reside within that same area. The intent of this proposed system is to offer greater opportunities for board representation for candidates who might not otherwise be elected under an at-large system. 

Transitioning to this new system requires the board to hold public hearings on proposed trustee area boundaries (or maps) prior to asking the Santa Clara County Committee on School District Organization to approve the change. If the committee approves the change, “by-trustee area” voting would be held starting with the 2022 general election, on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Please note that all current board members will serve out the full length of their elected terms regardless of the location of their residences.

Following the release of the census data in 2021 and before the district prepares and presents draft map options, the law requires the district to hold two public hearings to solicit comments and feedback regarding potential trustee areas. Following the initial public hearings, the proposed maps will be created and posted on the district’s website for review at www.santaclarausd.org/cvra. The CVRA webpage will be updated regularly and information will be provided to the public through our bi-weekly newsletter (subscribe to our newsletter) and social media. Thereafter, the district will host an additional series of public hearings regarding the map options, once created. In order to provide significant advanced notice, these public meetings will occur at the beginning of next school year in fall 2021. The tentative dates and times of the currently scheduled upcoming public hearings are shown below this letter. Over the summer, we will also send out confirmation and a reminder notice in advance of these dates. You are invited to attend as many meetings as you would like. If you cannot attend a hearing or meeting and wish to comment regarding potential trustee areas as well as on the proposed “by-trustee area” maps, once created, we encourage you to submit your comments and feedback via email at that time. 

I look forward to your participation.

Sincerely,

Stella Kemp

Dr. Stella M. Kemp
Superintendent

Tentative Schedule of Public Hearings

Public Hearings (Prior to Creation of Map Options)

Date

Place

Time

September 9, 2021

Public Hearing

TBD*

6:30 p.m.

September 23, 2021

Public Hearing

TBD*

6:30 p.m.


Public Hearings (After Creation of Map Options) 

Date

Place

Time

October 28, 2021

Public Hearing

TBD*

6:30 p.m.

November 18, 2021

Public Hearing

TBD*

6:30 p.m.

December 9, 2021**

Public Hearing

TBD*

6:30 p.m.

 

NOTE:

* Public hearing locations will be determined during the summer of 2021.

** The board vote on “by-trustee area” boundaries will immediately follow the third post-map release Public Hearing on December 9, 2021, at 6:30 p.m.