- Santa Clara Unified School District
New Voting System to Elect our Board of Trustees
September 3, 2021
Dear Santa Clara Unified Community,
We are excited to introduce a new voting system in our district to elect our Board of Trustees. The purpose of this letter is to provide you a brief overview of this initiative, and to encourage your participation in the process.
Under the new election model, the district will be divided into trustee areas and one governing board member will be elected by the registered voters in that specific trustee area. Therefore, voters will decide only between candidates that live in their own area.
Adhering to the California Voting Rights Act (known as CVRA), our district is embarking on a process to establish a map of the areas for each trustee position available on the Board of Trustees. The concept is simple: each area elects one trustee. Under the new system, candidates will be elected by equally populated “trustee areas” and their communities of interest.
This new system is known as “By-Trustee Area Voting.” The intent of this proposed system is to offer greater opportunities for board representation for candidates that might not otherwise be elected under the current election method. The system we have in place right now is called “at-large” and allows every resident within the district’s boundaries to vote to elect all trustees.
As our district values the participation of our community, the transition to the “By-Trustee Area Voting” will involve input from our school community, with 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.
SCUSD has planned public hearings for the next four months to gather feedback from stakeholders. These are meaningful opportunities to let your voice be heard.
Before the maps are created by a professional demographer, the Board will host two hearings where the community is invited to provide input on the potential composition of trustee areas, as follows:
September 9, 2021, 6:30 p.m., Virtual meeting
September 23, 2021, 7:15 p.m., Location to be determined
Following the “pre-map” public hearings and following the full release of the 2020 Census data, the proposed maps will be created by a demographer and shared on the district’s website, www.santaclarausd.org/CVRA. Once the draft maps are created, the Board will host an additional series of public hearings. The community will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on whether the map reflects the community’s preferences.
October 28, 2021, 7:15 p.m.*
November 18, 2021, 7:15 p.m.*
December 9, 2021, 7:15 p.m.**
* Location to be determined
** The Board of Trustees vote on “by-trustee area” boundaries will immediately follow the third post-map release public hearing on December 9, 2021.
You are invited to attend all the meetings. If you cannot attend a hearing or meeting and wish to comment regarding potential trustee areas, as well as on the proposed “trustee area” maps, we encourage you to submit your comments and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your collaboration and support as we work together to implement this important initiative. To learn more and to stay informed throughout the process, please visit www.santaclarausd.org/CVRA.
Dr. Stella M. Kemp, Ed.D.