by Photo courtesy of the Sweetwater Union High School District

A trustee map was approved on Dec.13 by the Sweetwater Union High School District by 4-1 with an abstention from board member Frank Tarantino due to his absence in a Nov.8 board meeting. 

A decision on this board item was delayed from the Nov.8 meeting in the absence of trustee Tarintino. It was clear the board favored Scenario C, which demonstrated minimum variance, or difference, at 1.5 percent.

In Scenario C, two trustee areas use the highway 125 boundary. Trustee area 4 spilled into Trustee area 3, resulting in westward expansion. According to SUHSD Superintendent Moises Aguirre, the redistricting is specifically for trustee areas and does not impact school, nor student boundaries. 

Since the last board meeting, presentations of the three map scenarios were presented to parent groups DELAC and DEPAC by attorney Peter Fagan of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost Law Firm and Senior Project manager of Davis Demographics, Scott Torlucci who aided in analyzing census data.

The district made further adjustments on their website to allow for members of the public to see where they fall under the three maps prepared by the district demographer. 

“We as trustees represent our district. We take into consideration what our actions and votes impact the district at each one of our schools for each of our students and all of our staff. I don’t want anyone to think that because there is a school that may move outside of a boundary. Montgomery middle school will move over into a different area, but that doesn’t lessen my desire or my ability to represent them along with all the other schools,” Trustee Paula Hall said. 

New census data is released every 10 years to comply with the law. According to Fagan, the trustee areas have to be as close and  equal to people in population as practical. The intent is to adjust the map rather than freshly redraw it’s boundaries and any variance within the map must fall below 10 percent. 

In 2014, the district transitioned to a trustee area elections system in order to ensure compliance with the California Voter Rights Act, which prohibits the use of “at-large” election systems. The map previously utilized by the district was approved April 9 that same year and contains a population variance of over 27 percent. 

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