Prior to the school board’s regular meeting on Monday, November 22, a special meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of discussing a draft plan for the redrawing of Blaine’s director district boundaries. At this special meeting, members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments on the draft redistricting plan.
Blaine School District is divided into five director districts with one representative from each district serving on the Board of Directors. In order to ensure equal representation on the board, the boundaries for each director district must be reviewed every ten years following the US Census. The decennial redistricting process adjusts the director district boundaries to reflect the changes that have occurred over the past decade in our communities.
New director district boundaries must meet five criteria as required by RCW 29A.76.010(4):
- Balancing population: Since the school board represents all residents, the total population of each director district is considered, not just the population of residents who are receiving the district’s educational services.
- Compactness: Director districts should not be unnecessarily thin or serpentine.
- Geographical Contiguity: The district’s unique geographical landscape, which includes bodies of ocean water as well as an international boundary, provides a significant challenge to meeting this criterion. To overcome this challenge, contiguity has been determined using Census Blocks.
- No racial group or political party is favored or disfavored: In addition to ensuring equal representation of all residents, the director districts must not favor or disfavor any racial group. Additionally, protecting the position of current board members, as well as existing candidates, ensures fair political treatment in the redistricting process.
- Alignment with natural boundaries and preservation of communities of interest: Wherever possible, director district boundaries follow existing roadways and boundary lines. Efforts are made to preserve any communities with common interests inside a single director district.
Normally, this process is completed much earlier. However, pandemic-related delays in the release of US Census data pushed back the timeline for redistricting in 2021. Blaine School District’s projected timeline for completing this process is as follows:
- November 15 – Publication of the draft redistricting plan and notice of the public meeting
- November 22 – Public meeting to include the opportunity for questions and comments
- December 14 – Tentative adoption of draft redistricting plan, or
- January 14 – Publication of amended draft redistricting plan and instructions for submission of additional written public comments
- January 24 – Tentative adoption of amended draft redistricting plan
Sammamish Data Systems facilitated Blaine School District’s redistricting process in 2010 and is again partnering with our district to provide their expertise in an effort to complete this process in a fair and impartial manner. Their recommended draft redistricting plan can be viewed at this link, and will be presented at the special meeting on November 22. Members of the public will be able to ask questions and share their comments during the meeting.
In order to provide the best possible access to this special meeting, participation will be virtual only. A link to the online meeting will be provided with the agenda in BoardDocs as well as on the district’s events calendar by the end of the business day on Friday, November 19. Please contact the District Office with any questions at 360-332-5881.