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Updates

Full Schedule and Mapping Tools Launched

The Board is undertaking a mapping process to define the trustee areas, and we need your help! SRCS is committed to transparency and encourages residents and stakeholders to participate. You can attend an upcoming session and / or create and submit your own map. All people will be heard! All comments will be recorded and considered.

Click the links on the left sidebar to learn more.

May 13 Public Hearing

San Rafael City Schools invites you to attend an upcoming public hearing on the transition to trustee-area elections. The public hearing is on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 6 pm in the SRCS Board Room, 310 Nova Albion Way.

There will be information about the process, mapping methods and how you can participate. There will also be an opportunity for you to share what you believe should be taken into account when developing draft maps. Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend.

April 30 Public Hearing

At the Board meeting on April 30, 2019 at 6 pm in the SRCS Board Room at 310 Nova Albion Way, the Board will have an open session to review the upcoming community process. The meeting is open to the public. There will be discussion on topics such as:

  • Why is SRCS transitioning to trustee area elections?
  • What is the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA)?
  • What is going to happen over the next several months and how can the community be involved?
  • How will trustee-areas be created?
  • What does this change mean for all SRCS voters?
  • And more!

UPDATE

The public hearing began with a presentation from the District's legal counsel and demographer regarding the California Voting Rights Act; the process for transitioning from at-large to by-trustee area elections; and the criteria that may be used in drafting the trustee area boundaries. There was then a public discussion on what considerations should be taken into account when developing draft maps. Click here to view the presentations.

There will also be a second public hearing for this same purpose at the Board meeting on May 13 at 6 pm at 310 Nova Albion Way; members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend. 

NDC to Support SRCS in Process

At its meeting on April 15, the Board approved an agreement with National Demographics Corporation (NDC) for demographic services pertaining to this process. Since 2002, NDC has established a reputation as the state's leading demographic expert on California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), having performed demographic assessments of potential CVRA liability and/or moves to by-district elections for over 350 jurisdictions. NDC recently performed these same demographic services for the City of San Rafael. 

Resolution to Transition to Trustee Area Elections

On March 25, 2019, the SRCS Board of Education approved a resolution that indicates its intention to transition Board elections to by-trustee area elections. Board members are currently elected in "at-large" elections, where each member is elected by voters throughout the District’s territory, including both the elementary and high school regions. Under the new system, the Board members will be elected by-trustee-area; they will be required to live in the area they represent and will be elected only by the registered voters of that area.

The California Voting Rights Act's (CVRA) purpose is to ensure that the use of at-large elections does not prevent minority groups from electing candidates of their choice to the elected boards of local agencies. The CVRA allows an individual to file suit over an alleged violation, allows a successful challenger to recover their attorneys' fees from the agency and provides courts with broad authority to impose remedies to prevent the dilution of minority votes. 

In February 2019, the District received a letter from the attorney Kevin Shenkman alleging that current District Board elections are in violation of the CVRA. The letter indicated that litigation may result if the District did not make a transition to by-trustee area elections and suggested the District would be liable for his fees if it did not make the transition. The Board's adoption of the resolution limits the fees that Mr. Shenkman may request once the Board completes the transition. The District's liability for any fees would be subject to Mr. Shenkman making a request for a reasonable amount of fees incurred in sending the letter to the District.

The resolution approved by the Board also provides a general outline of the public process for developing the trustee area boundary map which would be used to implement by-trustee area elections. A subcommittee of the Board and the District are currently determining the timeline, but there will be a minimum of five public hearings as part of the process, including two public hearings prior to the development of any draft maps. To meet legal requirements, SRCS must complete the process by September 11, 2019. The new system would be in effect for the next SRCS Board of Education election in November 2020. Click here to view the resolution.