Carmel Unified School District Board of Education Districting Process
The Carmel Unified School District Board of Education is undertaking the districting process to move to by-trustee-area elections. Please read below for a summary of the process, the timeline for CUSD, and how you can be involved.
Members of the public can email email@example.com to provide comments about the districting maps, communities of interest, the process, etc. This feedback will be conveyed to the Board and our demographers. All feedback provided in writing is also posted here.
Draw and Submit Your Own Trustee Area Plan
The demographers have provided data, maps, and an Excel file to facilitate the public’s drawing of plans. They divided Carmel Unified into 48 pieces. The pieces can be combined to form Trustee Areas. Click here to draw and submit your own trustee area plan.
- June 8, 2022 First Pre-Map Meeting Presentation
- June 22, 2022 Second Pre-Map Meeting Presentation
- June 22, 2022 Carmel Neighborhoods Map
- August 17, 2022 First Post-Map Meeting Presentation
- September 14, 2022 Second Post-Map Meeting Presentation
- September 28, 2022 New Plans Review
- October 19, 2022 Third Post Map Meeting Presentation for Board to Consider Adoption
What is districting?
Carmel Unified Board of Education Members are currently elected in at-large elections. At-large elections are those in which all the voters of the entire jurisdiction elect all the members to the governing board. Under a by-trustee-area election system the district is divided into geographic areas - trustee areas - and a board member residing in each trustee area is elected by the registered voters who live in that trustee area.
The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) of 2001 states that “An at-large method of election may not be imposed or applied in a manner that impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election.” A protected class is defined as a class of voters who are “members of a race, color, or language minority group.”
Adopting a “by-trustee-area” election system ensures that a district is compliant with the California Voting Rights Act and protects the district against the threat of costly litigation.
The Board has approved a contract with Lapkoff & Gobalet Demographic Research, Inc. to assist Carmel Unified to study the necessity of changing election methods, and if deemed necessary, draw “by trustee area” options that comply with the CVRA.
Throughout the approximate six month process, the Board will conduct public hearings to receive community feedback on the proposed "by-trustee areas." Two public hearings will be held before the release of draft maps, and at these hearings stakeholders will be asked to provide input on potential “communities of interest” to follow when shaping draft "by-trustee area" maps.
- June 8, 2022 - first pre-map meeting
- June 22, 2022 - second pre-map meeting
- August 17, 2022 - first post-map meeting
- September 14, 2022 - second post-map meeting
- October 19, 2022 - third post-map meeting & Board will consider adoption
- November, 2022 - County Committee reviews plan
- November, 2024 - Board Election with by-trustee areas
If the Board chooses to adopt a map and go to "by-trustee area" elections, the Board will consider a range of factors in selecting the final map including (but not limited to) equal population, communities of interest, compactness, contiguity of the areas, visible boundaries, and respect for voters’ wishes and continuity in office. The Board will then consider a Resolution establishing "by-trustee area" elections, "by-trustee area" boundaries, and when each "by-trustee areas" election will be held.
When will the new trustee area map be used?
The new trustee areas will be in effect for November 2024 elections.
What criteria are used to create trustee areas?
Federal and state laws require that the trustee areas be nearly equal in population using the most recent Census counts. Some deviation is permitted, but the rule of thumb is that the difference between the most- and least-populous election districts should not exceed ten percent of the "ideal" district's population, which is one third, one fifth, or one seventh of the jurisdiction's total population (depending on the number of trustee areas). We understand that courts have generally accepted this standard for population equality (in school districts).
Federal law also requires that election districts be drawn to respect protected race/ethnic groups so that their communities are neither divided nor overly concentrated in individual districts. Protected groups are race/ethnic/language groups, including Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans (as well as some others).
In addition, the California Elections Code (Section 22000) lists criteria that may be considered during the redistricting (and initial districting process): In adjusting the boundaries of the divisions, the board may consider the following factors: (1) topography, (2) geography, (3) cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of territory, and (4) community of interests of the division.
Who creates the maps and how can the public participate in the process?
We have hired professional demographers (Lapkoff & Gobalet Demographic Research, Inc.) to draft and revise maps for consideration by the public and the Trustees. Revisions of these draft maps will be based on feedback received by the trustees and from the community during the public hearings, board meetings, or any feedback sent to the designated district staff member. Members of the public will be able to provide input about boundaries, as well as possible revisions of plans. The districting process will be transparent, and it is important that everyone will have the opportunity to suggest map revisions.
Members of the public can email firstname.lastname@example.org to provide comments about the redistricting maps, communities of interest, the process, etc. This feedback will be conveyed to the Board and our demographers.
What types of data are used when drawing maps?
Plans for election district boundaries will be based on the total population counts from Census 2020, and data that comply with federal and state laws.
The 2020 Census counts will be adjusted by the California Statewide Database (SWDB), which will assign prison inmates to their pre-incarceration home addresses (the adjusted counts will be available 4-6 weeks after the Census Bureau's data release). The state legislature, county boards of supervisors, and city councils must use these adjusted numbers for redistricting. School districts are not required to use adjusted counts, so we will begin with unadjusted data and re-check when the adjusted counts are available.
When drafting plans for consideration, the demographers also use estimates of the Citizen Voting Age Population (CVAP, citizens 18+, by race/ethnicity) from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, (ACS) to check for Federal Voting Rights Act compliance. Estimates from the ACS survey are also used to help identify communities of interest.
How long will the boundaries be in place?
By law, election district boundaries must be evaluated after each decennial census. The 2030 U.S. Census redistricting population counts will be released in 2031. If the trustee areas adopted in 2022, in effect in 2024, still have equal total population counts, the boundaries will not need to be adjusted. If the total populations are not equally distributed, the trustee area boundaries will need to be adjusted so that the 2030 population is distributed evenly in the three, five, or seven trustee areas.
May redistricting plans respect incumbency so that there is only one governing board member in each election district?
Avoidance of head-to-head contests between incumbents is permitted, but only after criteria prescribed by federal and state law are met. Boundaries that take incumbency into account still must be reasonable.
What will happen to current members of the Board of Trustees if election district boundaries change?
Current Board Members will continue in office until the expiration of their terms and their successors are elected. The first elections using the new boundaries will be in November 2024. Because Board elections are staggered (some trustees elected in 2024 and the rest elected in November 2026), the new plan will be completely implemented in 2026.
Where can I learn more about redistricting, "Communities of Interest" and other parts of this process?