Clovis Unified Announced Switch to Area-Based Elections

The Clovis Unified School District has announced it will implement a trustee-area-based voting system by the 2024 election. According to EdSource, the move follows the threat of a lawsuit from Malibu-based Shenkman & Hughes. The firm has gone after numerous public agencies, claiming their at-large voting systems dilute votes for people of color.

Between 2008 and 2019, almost 200 school districts dumped their at-large systems. CUSD is the largest in Fresno County to still elect members at large.

Although Latinos make up 40% of CUSD’s student population, Latinos have not had electoral success on the school board. Shenkman & Hughes blame “racially polarized voting” for that outcome.

The changes are already underway, according to CUSD. The state’s 15th largest district will begin holding a series of public hearings on trustee-area maps between now and January 2024. A proposal must then be submitted to the Fresno County Committee on School District Organization, and another public hearing held in February or March.