2/28 Highlights: From At-Large to Trustee-Area Board Elections

Click here to see WCCUSD’s minutes from this meeting.

Welcome to Board Watch for WCCUSD’s February 28th Board of Education meeting!

This week, our board members are scheduled to further discuss the possibility of placing a new parcel tax on the November ballot. In addition, the board will have its first reading of a resolution declaring the intent to transition our District from at-large to trustee-area Boardelections. Lastly, our Board is being recommended to adopt and issue a Notice of Violation to John Henry High School operated by Amethod Public Schools.

Click here to see the full meeting agenda.

1. Resolution No. 64-1718: Intent To Transition From At-Large To Trustee-Area Board Elections 

Discussion Item F.3. Our school district’s Board of Education trustees are currently elected through an “at-large” election system, meaning trustees are elected by voters of the entire District. Trustees are elected in even-numbered years; the next election is scheduled for November of this year with three out of five trustee seats open. On January 22, our District received correspondence asserting that the current at-large elections violate the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and demanding that the District adopt “trustee-area” elections.

What is a trustee-area election system? In a trustee-area election system, each trustee must live within the designated trustee area boundary, and is elected only by the voters who live in that area. Under the CVRA, at-large elections are not allowed if they result in racially polarized voting, which is defined as “voting in which there is a difference … in the choice of candidates or other electoral choices that are preferred by voters in a protected class, and in the choice of candidates and electoral choices that are preferred by voters in the rest of the electorate.”

At this meeting, the Board is scheduled to review its current election system and consider its options under the CVRA. The Board will undertake the first reading of a resolution declaring the intent to transition from at-large to trustee-area Board elections. A second reading will be scheduled for the next regularly scheduled Board meeting on March 7.

2. Discussion of Potential Parcel Tax Measure

Discussion Item F.2. Our Board is scheduled to hear an update on information that was requested at the last February 7th Board of Education meeting. Board members will further discuss the possibility of placing a new parcel tax of 7.2 cents per developed square foot to support teacher compensation on an upcoming ballot, specifically targeted toward recruitment and retention of highly qualified District staff.

Since the last meeting, District staff have reviewed the timeline for commissioning a poll and has entered a contract to conduct the poll. The deadline to place an item on the November ballot is August 10, 2018. Below is a potential timeline of next steps provided by District staff:

  • February 28  Board discussion and approval of contract with polling firm
  • April – Results of the survey released and discussed
  • August 10 – Deadline to file resolution and order with the Superintendent of Schools, the Contra Costa County Registrar of Voters, and the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County.
  • August 16 – Local measure letter assigned
  • August 22 – Deadline for Primary Arguments
  • August 27 – Deadline for Rebuttal Arguments
  • September 27 – Estimated Voter Information Guide mailing

Click here to learn more about the details and revenue of this potential parcel tax. 

3. Notice of Violation for John Henry High School (Amethod Public Schools)

Action Item G.1. District staff have prepared a Notice of Violation to Amethod Public Schools’ John Henry High School. The Notice of Violation includes but is not limited to issues relating to: [1] credentialing teachers, [2] special education services, [3] facilities, and [4] enrollment.

The Notice of Violation provides suggested actions to remedy these violations and provides the school’s governing board with a reasonable opportunity to take action no later than March 30, 2018. If actions are not taken to the Board‘s satisfaction by this date, the Board may begin procedures to revoke John Henry High’s charter. Every student in our community deserves a high quality education; both district and public charter schools must be continually monitored to ensure this is a reality.

Click here to see the set of documents accompanying this Notice of Violation.

4. Initial Bargaining Proposals: United Teachers of Richmond, School Supervisors Association (SSA) / International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21

Action Items G.2 and G.3. Our Board is being recommended to hold a public hearing and adopt the initial bargaining proposal for labor negotiations between the District and United Teachers of Richmond (UTR)

Click here to see UTR’s proposal to WCCUSD.
Click here to see WCCUSD’s proposal to UTR.

Consent Items D.9, D.10, and D.11. Our Board will receive initial bargaining proposals for labor negotiations between WCCUSD and SSA / IFPTE Local 21, as well as a joint initial bargaining proposal for labor negotiations with the West Contra Costa Administrators Association.

Click here to see SSA / IFPTE Local 21’st proposal to WCCUSD.
Click here to see WCCUSD’s proposal to SSA / IFPTE Local 21.
Click here to see WCCUSD’s joint initial proposal with WCCAA.

5. City of Richmond Urgency Ordinance Extending a Temporary Moratorium on Schools in Certain Zones 

Discussion Item F.1. Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay is scheduled to provide information to our Board regarding the City’s recent adoption of an Urgency Ordinance extending the temporary moratorium on the approval of applications to construct, modify or place schools within certain commercial and mixed-use zoning districts in the City of Richmond until December 17, 2018. The extension will allow city staff sufficient time to prepare zoning amendments that address concerns raised regarding schools in commercial and mixed-use zoning districts.

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