Should Redondo Beach Remove the School Board from its City Charter?

Redondo Beach is one of the few cities whose local school board operates under the city charter. That means significant policy changes, like altering school board elections, require a charter amendment.

The city’s Charter Review Advisory Committee is now considering sending the issue to voters. As soon a 2024, Redondo Beach residents could remove the Board of Education from the document, making it easier for the district to implement changes.

Redondo Beach Unified trustees are currently elected at large. Some would like to see the district move to trustee area-based voting. Eventually, the city could be forced to amend the charter anyway, given the legal precariousness of at-large systems.

The Charter Review Advisory Committee is also in favor of a switch to trustee area-based voting. But the change wouldn’t be cheap.

“If we come out of the charter, we’d have to pay the county to be on their ballot,” said Board of Education member Rolf Strutzenberg. “That can be several hundred thousands of dollars for each election; there’s concern for that.”

The committee is seeking input from the school district. Feedback will be delivered when the committee convenes again on June 22. The panel will have to weigh a number of considerations, including the impact on existing bonds.

The City of Long Beach may serve as a guide. In November, Long Beach voters approved Measure LBU, which amended the city charter in order to align Long Beach Unified elections with the state.

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