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AB-1302 San Diego Unified School District: elections.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/21/2019 09:00 PM
AB1302:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1302


Introduced by Assembly Member Weber

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 5014 of add Section 5232 to the Education Code, relating to school district and community college district elections.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1302, as amended, Weber. School districts and community college districts: election procedures. San Diego Unified School District: elections.
Existing law prescribes the procedures for the election of governing board members in a school district. Existing law requires a unified school district that is coterminous with or includes within its boundaries a charter city to be governed by the board of education provided for in the city charter, except as provided.
This bill would require a member of the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District to be elected by the voters in the election district the member would represent rather than at large by all voters in the San Diego Unified School District. By imposing additional duties on local elections officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the San Diego Unified School District.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

Existing law prescribes the procedures for the election of governing board members in a school district or community college district. Existing law requires that any election held for the purpose of electing governing board members of a school district or community college district be held and conducted in accordance with uniform procedures, as provided.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the latter provision.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) At-large elections for local offices may impair the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election in violation of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.
(b) After a primary election in which candidates for the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District are voted on by election district, an at-large general election is held, in which all registered voters in the San Diego Unified School District vote for a candidate from each election district.
(c) A 2017 report prepared by the San Diego County Grand Jury recommended that the San Diego Unified School District switch to district-based elections.
(d) The grand jury found that the cost of participating in two elections, the second of which requires candidates to appeal to more than 300,000 voters citywide, imposes substantial costs on candidates and contributes to a significant incumbency advantage.
(e) The grand jury determined that switching to district-based elections would alleviate the influence of special interest groups and return elections for the San Diego Unified School District to the people.
(f) As a result of at-large elections for the San Diego Unified School District, the grand jury found that the members of the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District have not always reflected the diversity of the pupils in the school district.
(g) Of the four largest unified school districts in California, which are the Los Angeles Unified School District, the San Diego Unified School District, the Long Beach Unified School District, and the Fresno Unified School District, only the San Diego Unified School District conducts at-large elections for members of the governing board.
(h) The dilution of votes of members of a protected class in elections for the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District is a matter of statewide concern.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5232 is added to the Education Code, to read:

5232.
 Notwithstanding any other law, a member of the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District shall be elected by the voters in the election district the member would represent, and shall not be elected at large by all voters in the San Diego Unified School District.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the evidence of vote dilution in elections for the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District.

SEC. 4.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SECTION 1.Section 5014 of the Education Code is amended to read:
5014.

An election held for the purpose of electing governing board members of a school district or community college district, including additional governing board members as provided by Section 5018, shall be held and conducted in accordance with the uniform procedures set forth in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 5300).