Solana Beach School District picks its new trustee area map

The approved new SBSD map.

The Solana Beach School District board has approved its new map for its first-ever trustee-area election to be held this November. At the board’s Feb. 10 meeting, they picked the map most reflective of keeping the district’s like communities together, such as Solana Beach’s La Colonia De Eden Gardens.

The selected Scenario 1A balances out the populations in all trustee areas, making the fewest adjustments necessary and respecting incumbencies.

“Although we govern as five, we don’t govern as one, having a representative from your neighborhood that you know and knows your neighborhood I believe is still important,” SBSD Vice President Debra Schade said.

SBSD President Vicki King said that there weren’t many adjustments that needed to be made as they had already spent so much time developing their original map less than two years ago.

The district began the process to transition from an at-large election district to a trustee area district in late 2019 when they received a demand letter from a local attorney alleging that they were in violation of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). CVRA prohibits the use of at-large elections if it impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or influence the outcome of an election. The district’s CVRA process was waylaid by the pandemic and the new trustee map was approved in early 2021 using 2010 census data.

This year they had to adjust the map using the 2020 data. The school district saw overall population growth of 10.7%, with the greatest growth in Area 4 which includes Pacific Highlands Ranch. The growth resulted in a variance of 51.4%, putting the district out of compliance. With the newly approved map, the variance is now below the ideal 10% variance at 5.4%.

SBSD Trustee Julie Union said the board got very little community feedback and she had hoped they might get more. In reaching out and speaking with constituents, she heard overall a lot of people were happy with map 1A. Although the map was not her top pick, she voted in support of the map that had the most board and community consensus.