WATERFORD — To head off potential allegations that it is violating California’s Voting Rights Act, Waterford’s school board is proposing that future trustees be elected from five different neighborhoods rather than from the school district as a whole.
A public hearing on that plan is scheduled Dec. 10 by the Stanislaus County Committee on School District Organization.
The Waterford Unified School District includes the city of Waterford, plus rural regions to the west, north and east of the city. A map of how the 1,900-student district would be divided will be considered.
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, 51percent of Waterford’s residents are non-Latino whites and nearly 47 percent are Latino. But that ethnic diversity is not reflected on the existing school board.
The five current trustees are Lisa Hawkins, Matt Erickson, Sheila Collins, Timothy Bomgardner and Jim Weaver, all of whom were elected by voters in at-large elections. An at-large election means every registered voter living anywhere in the school district can vote for any school board candidate.
That would change if this new plan is approved. Instead, each of the five future school board members would have to reside in and be elected by voters living in a different part of the district.
In theory, electing trustees from different neighborhoods will help diversify the school board.
The Dec. 10 public hearing will begin at 4:45 p.m. at the school district office, 219 S. Reinway Ave.