JUNE 14 UPDATE:
On Friday, June 11, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-08-21 which stated “The following provisions [which include Executive Order N-48-20] shall remain in place and shall have full force and effect through June 30, 2021, upon which time they will expire subject to individual conditions described in the enumerated paragraphs.”
In alignment with this new executive order, San Juan Unified will resume the process of moving to by-trustee area elections on July 1, 2021. As a result, the special board meeting planned for this Tuesday, June 15, 2021, has been postponed. An updated timeline on the process of moving to by-trustee area elections will be presented at the June 22 regular board meeting.
Board Elections by Trustee Area
The San Juan Unified School District, like many other cities and school districts in the state, is in the process to change how Board of Education members are voted and elected into office from an 'at large' election' to 'by-trustee area' elections.
BackgroundThe district received a demand letter from an attorney from the bay area in February 2020, to transition to a by-trustee area. On March 10, 2020, the Board of Education adopted a resolution declaring its intent to move from an at-large system of election to elections by trustee areas. On April 28, 2020, the Board of Education adopted a resolution to pause hearings related to the transition to by-trustee area elections as a result of Governor Newsom issuing Executive Order N-38-20, staying the voting transition process statewide, due to the health and safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is the difference between at-large elections and trustee areas?In an at-large election, all voters in the school district vote to elect each member of the school board.When elections are by trustee area, the district is divided into smaller regions. The residents in each region vote for the candidate of their choice from their area but do not vote on candidates running for the school board in other regions.The Board of Education has expressed its desire for all voters in the district to be heard and believes this transition supports that intent as well as brings the system of elections into alignment with all provisions of the California Voting Rights Act.
What is the process to transition between systems?The Board of Education took the first step in the process on March 10, 2020, when it adopted Resolution 2982 declaring the intent to transition between systems. At a special board meeting on March 31, 2020, the board held the first pre-map public hearing with a demographer to discuss the process. Before a second public hearing could be held, the board adopted Resolution 2991 to 'pause' the process due to the health and safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic pursuant to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-38-20. The District’s current plan is to resume this process once it is safe to do so.
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