The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA)
The Paramount Board of Education adopted a Resolution to change its current at-large voting system to a district based voting system. The Board of Education is a supporter of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) that strongly encourages district-based voting.
The intent of the CVRA is to enhance the voting rights protections for minority groups and to ensure that minority group voting rights are not abridged or diluted. The CVRA prohibits the use of election systems such as at-large voting systems that impair the ability of minority groups to elect candidates of their choice. If it can be shown that racially polarized voting has taken place in the past, a violation of the CVRA will be found and a court may order a public agency to convert to a district based voting system.
Due to the low threshold of proof under the CVRA and cost of attorney fees, most public agencies have decided to voluntarily convert to a district based election system before receiving a demand letter or being served with a lawsuit.
The Board of Education will be holding two public hearings in the near future to receive public input on the criteria and composition of proposed trustee areas. Following the second public hearing the Board of Education will consider a Resolution that identifies criteria for the demographer to use in preparing draft maps. The demographer will prepare two or more proposed maps and an election plan identifying which trustee areas will hold elections in 2024 and 2026 for the Board of Education to review.
The demographer will then draft maps and a third and fourth public hearing will be held to obtain public input regarding the content of the draft trustee area maps and the proposed sequence of elections. Following the fourth public hearing, the Board of Education will vote on a Resolution adopting a trustee area map and sequence of elections. The map and sequence of elections will then be submitted to the Los Angeles Committee on School District Organization for approval.
The Los Angeles Committee on School District Organization will then hold a public hearing in the District. Following approval by the Committee, the proposal will be submitted to the State Board of Education for approval. Following approval by the State Board of Education, the district based voting system will go into effect.