SRCA Schools Committee

San Diego Unified School District Redistricting

After each national census, governmental agencies such as the City Council and the school district are required to realign their district lines to reflect demographic changes and balance the population in all the districts. As a community, Scripps Ranch is very interested in our representative government, and we always welcome the opportunity to participate fully in redistricting actions.

Imagine my surprise on June 27 to receive a copy of a report of a committee organized by the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) to recommend redistricting action. I could not find anyone who had received meeting notifications or attended any of the meetings.

Our current district, district B, has over 30,000 more students than the other four districts, so we must "lose" population in order to meet the goal of a balanced population. The boundaries of a school district determine commonality of interest as well as our elected representative. On July 9, I attended the SDUSD board meeting and expressed that the process to date was "fatally flawed" as word had not reached many communities to secure our input.

The district has a redistricting completion date of July 31. So, they scheduled a second reading for a vote on July 22 after listening to comments, hearing public testimony, and directing the consultant to "tweak" a proposed map.

In essence, three plans–D, A-3, and D-3–had been prepared for final consideration. Plan D-3 was rejected as not appropriate. At the hearing most speakers were in favor of plan A-3. In plan D Scripps Ranch was included with Mira Mesa and La Jolla. In the board discussion the consultant was asked to return on July 22 with a modified A-3. In both plans D and A-3 the new boundaries would require elections again in 2004.

The committee came up with several different versions of A-3, and many pros and cons were heard from the audience and special interest groups, as well as board members, as to the best configuration. Switching some neighborhoods to a different district occurred. Concern was expressed that our present district would lose Mira Mesa with whom we have a long educational link.

After much discussion the board voted 4-1 to adopt a modified A-3 plan (see map on the next page). This brings the populations in line and meets other required factors such as diversity.

A complete population analysis was required to confirm this alignment. It is obvious that despite the best of intentions, some problems will undoubtedly arise. However, ensuring, for example, that each of the three new districts had an award-winning high school rather than they be all in one district, was noted.

This redistricting must now be certified by the board and implemented by Friday, Sept. 12. We have invited our school board member, Katherine Nakamura, to our next Schools Committee meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 4 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library. For updates, watch the SRCA Newsletter and website at [www.scrippsranch.org].

Bob Dingeman, Secretary