Solana Beach School District Moves Forward with Constituency Elections Again
The Solana Beach School District has resumed efforts to transition to the Election Administrators Zone, a conversion that has been disrupted by the pandemic. Under the new electoral system, the district would be divided into five geographic zones and a council member living in each zone would be elected by the voters who live in that zone, rather than by the current method of general elections.
The council chose its new card last February and it was to be used in the November 2020 election before the process was delayed. The process picked up where it left off on April 21, when the San Diego County Committee on School District Organization held a public hearing on the proposed map. Action is expected to be taken at an upcoming San Diego County School Board meeting – the board will meet on May 12.
The district’s transition from general elections to zonal director elections was triggered in late 2019 when the district received a letter of formal notice from a local attorney claiming it was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act. (CVRA). The CVRA prohibits the use of general elections of board members if it “undermines the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election.” “.
The San Dieguito Union High School school district underwent the same CVRA districting process in 2017, as did the city of Solana Beach in 2018.
The Solana Beach School District began its process of developing potential maps with five public hearings held in late 2019 and early 2020. The district’s goals for the new map were equity and inclusion, in keeping like-minded communities together to promote leadership opportunities and representation while establishing clear boundaries that make sense to voters.
The selected “Orange 2” card consists of five zones with zone 1 including Solana Beach west of I-5 and Skyline School, zone 2 which includes Solana beach east of I -5 extending to Calzada Del Bosque in Rancho Santa Fe; Zone 3 which includes parts of Carmel Valley and Rancho Santa Fe; Zone 4 which serves Carmel Valley, Pacific Highlands Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe; and Zone 5 which includes the Carmel Valley neighborhoods of the Carmel Creek and Solana Pacific schools.
Zones 1, 3 and 4 would be up for election in 2022.
The new map was drawn using data from the 2010 census and as the maps must be redrawn every 10 years after a census, the district will need to draw a new map next year. The district map will likely be very different in 2022, as the 2020 census will better reflect the growth that has occurred over the past 10 years at Pacific Highlands Ranch.