FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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A vote for better school representation

By From page A10 | September 16, 2012

From one, let there be seven.

Trustees in the Fairfield-Suisun School District voted this week on a redistricting plan that will end at-large voting in favor of by-area voting starting with the next round of elections in 2013.

This ends one phase of a process that’s been taking place for several months.

District officials will tell you the move away from at-large voting will provide more representation for underrepresented groups such as Hispanics, blacks and Asians. They will also tell you that the moved is designed to ward off lawsuits based on the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.

To their credit, the district’s leadership and elected trustees were forthright about this particular point when the district began this process.

Area residents have elected seven trustees to oversee the district ever since the Fairfield and Suisun City school districts merged to form the Fairfield-Suisun School District. The agreed-upon plan calls for seven distinct districts, from which representatives will be elected. None of the districts has an ethnic group that makes up more than 50 percent of the population.

We were disappointed by the lack of community input at the first public meeting to discuss the pros and cons of various redistricting plans, and encouraged better participation at this week’s session — the last before the board made its decision.

There was, indeed, better community participation Thursday. That’s important since this plan, if ultimately adopted, will define how we elect people to oversee the area’s largest school district for the coming decade and beyond.

Yes, there could have been better public participation — remember the crowded board room when school closures were discussed? — but Thursday’s participation was an improvement.

The plan now goes to the Solano County Office of Education for a hearing and further consideration. We encourage area residents to voice any concerns they may have at that time, or forever hold their peace because once blessed at the county level, the plan will likely be approved by the state.

Those who wish to see the proposed district boundaries may do so at http://www.fsusd.org. The selected option is 3A.

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