Redistricting Information/Frequently Asked Questions
What is redistricting?
The Madera Unified School District is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees who represent specific geographic areas known as trustee areas. Every 10 years, after new population data is released by the U.S. Census, school districts must evaluate and adjust their trustee area boundaries, as necessary, to equalize the population of the trustee areas. This assures equal representation for the residents of each trustee area on the district governing board. (Note: this process is also required at every level of government—federal, state, county, city, school districts, and special districts).
Why is it important?
Redistricting is a fundamental step in maintaining fair representation in our democratic system of government. It determines which geographic areas, neighborhoods, and communities are grouped together for the purpose of electing school board trustees who represent the concerns and interests of residents in their trustee areas.
What criteria are used in drawing boundaries?
Redistricting of the trustee areas must comply with federal and state law and should be carried out in a manner that, to the extent possible, provides for compact and contiguous trustee areas, includes easily identifiable boundaries, and maintains and respects communities of interest.
The trustee area boundaries should be adjusted such that the areas are nearly equal in population. “Nearly equal” means that the difference between the most- and least-populous trustee areas should not exceed 10% of the ideal trustee area population (the ideal trustee area population is one-seventh of the District’s total population). In addition, the federal Voting Rights Act prohibits election systems and practices that dilute the voting power of racial, ethnic, and language minorities.
What are communities of interest?
Communities of interest are areas where people share social and economic interests, such as
- Identifiable neighborhoods and communities
- Areas with similar racial and ethnic composition and cultural identities
- Areas with common social and civic networks—schools, churches, homeowners associations, retirement communities
Keeping communities of interest together for representation is an important goal of redistricting.
Where are the current trustee area boundaries?
A map showing the current trustee areas can be accessed by clicking the following link:
How can I participate in the process?
The redistricting process will include:
- A Board presentation with opportunities for public input. The presentation on November 9th included a discussion of the redistricting process, the results of 2020 census data for the District and trustee areas, and the implications of the data on how the boundaries might need to be adjusted. The District’s demographic consultant, Odell Planning & Research, Inc., provided information for the workshop.
- The development of proposed maps which will provide for the adjustment of the trustee area boundaries to meet the requirements of the law and the redistricting criteria. These maps have been posted on the bottom of this page for public review. The public is welcome to provide comments by email or regular mail on the proposed maps and/or proposals for alternative map boundaries.
- Board consideration of the proposed maps at a public hearing or hearings, and approval of the preferred map. It is anticipated that the Board will adopt the adjusted boundaries in January or early February.
Your participation can include:
- Attending the Board presentation (Tuesday, November 9, 2021) and providing comments.
- Providing comments by email or regular mail on the proposed maps and/or providing an alternative map for consideration.
- Attending the Board hearing(s) on December 14, 2021, (and tentatively on January 25, 2022) for consideration of proposed maps and expressing your opinions and recommendations.
You can email comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail comments to Madera Unified School District, Attn: Redistricting, 1902 Howard Road, Madera, CA 93637.
When must the redistricting process be completed?
The Board must adopt any adjustments to the trustee area boundaries no later than February 28, 2022. The adjusted boundaries will then be provided to the Madera County Clerk/Registrar of Voters.