Santa Barbara Unified Transitioning from At-Large School Board Elections to Trustee-Area Elections
Source: Santa Barbara Unified School District
Like many cities, school districts and other public entities across the state, Santa Barbara Unified has initiated the process of transitioning from at-large trustee elections to by-trustee area elections in response to the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA).
The process involves the creation of conceptual trustee area boundaries (maps) and providing opportunities for the public to learn more and give feedback. Santa Barbara Unified is utilizing the services of an independent, professional demographer, Cooperative Strategies, to prepare proposed boundary maps and community input opportunities. The demographer is working with District’s legal counsel to ensure that all draft trustee area map options are in compliance with the CVRA and other districting requirements.
The District website contains all relevant details regarding this process, including proposed trustee area maps, a timeline, an FAQ, and dates for opportunities to learn more and provide input via community meetings and a survey. The next public hearing on this topic is scheduled for our Tuesday, October 12, 2021 regular school board meeting.
The proposed maps will be refined and revised following the public’s input. Ultimately, the Board will adopt a proposed map which will be reviewed and approved by the County Committee on School District Organization. Once the transition is approved, Board elections will be transitioned to by-trustee area elections beginning with the 2022 election. The current Board members will continue in office until the expiration of their terms in 2022 or 2024. The process does not impact student attendance boundary areas, or which school a student attends. It only impacts where the board members who are elected come from.