High School District Discuss First Round of Card Projects, Residents Seek More Participation Opportunities | Education

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The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District reviewed three maps illustrating different ways to divide the district during its first Redistribution Project hearing on Tuesday, with the intention of adding another hearing to allow for increased community participation.

The hearing was held as part of the district’s transition to district board elections, following two hearings in September and October to identify communities of interest that could help guide training of the five districts.

According to the current district schedule, a second preliminary hearing will take place on December 14 before the final adoption of the card on January 11. However, in response to demands from students and advocacy groups for more opportunities for community participation, district leaders on Wednesday declared their intention to add a third hearing and delay adoption of the final map.

“We really ask you to make the right decision today by extending the clipping hearing so that our families, especially working-class and immigrant families and our multilingual and multi-ethnic communities, can truly elevate intentionally and truly share with you. … What it means to draw those lines that represent them for years to come, ”said Vanessa Terán, Policy and Communications Associate at the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project.

The three maps reviewed on Tuesday were created by representatives of the national cutting consulting firm National Demographic Corp. and based on different priorities identified by the district, called green, orange and yellow plans.

MICOP, Future Leaders of America, and Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy have also collaborated to create three additional maps for review, which were not included for review on Tuesday as they need to be reviewed to ensure they meet requirements. state directives.

According to the National Demographic Corp. consultant. Daniel Phillips, the green plan was developed to align the district areas with the areas where administrators currently reside, the orange plan focused on elementary school districts as communities of interest, and the yellow plan was based on high school. frequentation areas as communities of interest.

Under the green plan, three of the five proposed zones would include a predominantly Hispanic population of voting age. The majority of Orcutt, along with Garey, Sisquoc, and other regions to the east, would be combined into one region, and Guadalupe would be reunited with the southernmost region of Santa Maria, west of Orcutt and Casmalia. .

The orange plan also contains three zones with a predominantly Hispanic population of voting age and groups Orcutt with the southern part of the district, Guadalupe with the northwest of Santa Maria and the northeast of Santa Maria with the far eastern part of the district. district that houses the Blochman School. District.

Finally, the yellow plan contains two predominantly Hispanic electoral districts. Two of the proposed zones align with the attendance zones of Pioneer Valley High School, one with the attendance zone of Santa Maria High School and two with Righetti High School.

Council members questioned whether it would be appropriate to consider the green card, since its primary purpose would be to protect members’ eligibility for re-election in the future. Under the district-based electoral system, candidates for the board of directors must reside in the region they represent.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interest to define zones or administrator boundaries based on where we currently reside. I think that’s inappropriate to say the least,” Amy Lopez said. , Member of the Board of Directors.

While board member Carol Karamitsos shared the same hesitation, Diana Perez and Dominick Palera supported the concept, arguing that it would respect voters’ choices about board members in the last election.

“I think our communities are happy with our work, and we saw that in the last election, that we were all reelected. I’m not as interested in other cards as I am in the green card,” Perez said.

The directorships of Palera, Perez and Karamitsos will be up for election in 2022.

Residents can find more information on the redistribution process as well as approved map projects on the district’s website at smjuhsd.k12.ca.us. The next hearing will be on December 14.


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