SDUHSD discussing move to district elections

ENCINITAS — The San Dieguito Union High School District has pre-emptively opened discussions about transitioning from its current at-large elections to elections by trustee district.

The school board has an agenda item on its Sept. 14 meeting in which Superintendent Eric Dill writes that the reason he is broaching the subject with the board is because of the recent legal threats faced by neighboring jurisdictions over their elections systems.

Kevin Shenkman, an attorney with the Malibu-based law firm Shenkman & Hughes, has targeted several cities and school districts across the region, arguing that their current electoral process — where voters select their representatives in citywide elections — disenfranchises Latino voters.

SDUHSD has not received any legal threats, Dill wrote in the staff report, “but since neighboring cities and districts have been subject to these threats, it may be more beneficial to begin the process to consider converting to sub-districts to have more control over the timing of the process prior to the next election.”

The rest of the presentation was prepared by the district’s law firm, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP, and outlines the process for the district to create a “by-trustee area” election system.

The big difference between cities and school districts is that a school district would have to put the new electoral proposal and map up to a public vote unless the state grants a waiver. In the case of a city or county, the elected council makes the decision.

The SDUHSD board of trustees meets at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the district office board room, 710 Encinitas Blvd. Room 101.


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