Merced City School District Board of Education members have approved a new map outlining the districts they will represent for the next 10 years.
The approved map, version C2, was one of six options considered two months ago. It will be submitted to the federal Department of Justice for its approval and then sent to county election officials.
While the five board members represent specific districts, board member Susan Walsh stressed that the board represents everybody. She said she couldn't recall an instance when an issue developed over a board member's specific representation. Before 2009, board members were elected at large.
"We all represent everybody anyway," Walsh said. "The board remains committed to being responsible for every student. The goal of the district is to have similar facilities and educational experience wherever you are located."
Board member Gene Stamm said the equalized trustee map, mandated by lines drawn in the 2010 federal census, keeps two trustee districts with Latino majorities intact and there were no significant changes in numbers.
Board President Darrell Cherf said the map meets federal mandates, is a good division of districts and keeps ethnic balances better than other options.
When district representation was proposed, it was felt it would result in more candidates, but that has never materialized.
Cherf, a board member for 10 years, also said he can't recall any issue developing over a board member's specific representation area.
The second of two public hearings was held Tuesday night at Gracey School on the redistricting and there was no public comment. The five districts have 16,108 to 16,884 voters each.
The Merced County Association of Governments assisted the school district in redrawing the trustee areas, not to be confused with attendance boundaries for specific schools.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.