School Board moves to elections by trustee areas
Earlier this year a Malibu law firm threatened to sue Murrieta Valley Unified School District over the district’s school board election system, claiming that the current elections are in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. The law firm has successfully used the same tactics to force a large number of school districts and municipalities across the State to change the way they elect board members.
Board members were elected in “at-large” elections, where each member was elected by voters throughout the District. A number of districts and municipalities across the state were unsuccessful in their attempts to challenge the legal efforts to change their elections and the price tag to fight the case in court ranged from hundreds of thousands to several million dollars.
In order to avoid the expense of litigation, the Board held a series of public meetings to study and discuss the method of board elections.
- On October 26, 2017, Board members heard a presentation on the California Voting Rights Act
- On November 8, 2017, the Board adopted a resolution indicating their intention to transition from at-large to by-trustee area elections, and they heard a presentation on the process and criteria used to draw trustee area boundary maps
- On December 14, 2017, a public hearing was held to seek comment from the District’s stakeholders and to allow for discussion of three draft trustee area maps
- After receiving input from the Board, the maps were presented for public hearing on January 18, 2018
On February 1, the Board of Education finalized the process of moving from at-large election areas to by-trustee areas for the next elections. All of the trustee areas are relatively equal in population and demographic break down. All trustee areas intersect many schools boundaries.
In voting on the move, Board members expressed their commitment to continue to advocate and support all schools in MVUSD. Below is a map and information showing the new trustee areas.
Area 1 yellow
Area 2 green
Area 3 salmon
Area 4 blue
Election 2020 2018 Election required to fill Barbara Muir’s seat
Area 5 pink