Redistricting — the process of redrawing the geographical boundaries of elective districts in response to population change — has been in the news quite a bit lately. State legislatures are redrawing their congressional district boundaries before the November 2022 elections using 2020 Census data. While most media attention is given to congressional redistricting and the impact it will have on the balance of power at the federal level, state law requires local governments to also redraw their elective districts according to census data.
Bexar County approved its redistrict plan in November 2021 and the City of San Antonio approved its plan in June 2022. Now it's time for San Antonio ISD to go through the process. The school district needs to develop and approve a redistricting plan.
SAISD has seven districts. According to the 2020 Census, SAISD lost 6,653 residents since 2010. That population loss, however, is not distributed evenly among its seven districts. In fact, the district in which Lavaca and King William is located -- District 1 -- gained population, as did Districts 2 and 3.
As you can see from the table below, District 2 is currently the most populated district, and district 4 is the least populated district.
SAISD population breakdown based on US census data
Lavaca and King William are right in the heart of SAISD
Under the Texas Education Code, a school district is required to redraw its boundaries if the difference between its most populous district and its least populous district is more than 10 percent. The difference between districts 2 and 4 is closer to 20%. By law, therefore, SAISD must redraw its boundaries.
This means that some SAISD residents will be reassigned from their current district into another. And that means those residents will have a different SAISD trustee. It will NOT affect school enrollment boundaries -- if your residence is reassigned to a different district, it will have no affect on the school(s) your children attend.
The process for redrawing the boundaries will not be arbitrary. It will be governed by state and federal law, and guided by community input. The state and federal law requirements include:
The population of the largest district needs to be less than ten percent greater than the smallest district
The districts should have near equal populations,
The districts should be compact and contiguous
The districts should be drawn so as to avoid splitting county election precincts.
Federal law prohibits changes to district lines that negatively impact the right to vote on account of race, color, or status as a member of a language minority group.
Community input will also play a role in shaping district lines. Community members are encouraged to provide feedback about their desired boundary lines and wishes to keep communities and neighborhoods together, along with any other factors they think should be considered in redrawing district lines.
The consulting firm of Walsh Gallegos has been retained to assist SAISD with the redistricting process. The Board of Trustees has two upcoming work sessions to review proposed map options and provide feedback and possible revisions to Walsh Gallegos. And, there will be a series of town halls where community members can review those proposed maps and provide feedback. These meetings will have both in-person and virtual options, and will have Spanish translation. The District 1 Town Hall will be held on Wednesday, September 28th from 6:00-7:00 pm at Brackenridge High School.
In its meeting on October 11th, the Board of Trustees will review the community feedback provided in the town hall meetings. If no changes are needed at that time, the Board will vote on the new districts then. If changes are needed, the Board will vote at a subsequent board meeting on October 17th.
All board meetings are open to the public. The meetings start at 5:30 pm and are held in the Board Room at San Antonio ISD Central Office at 514 W. Quincy Street.
Sarah Sorensen is our district's representative on the SAISD Board of Trustees
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