SCHOOL BOARD GETS NO PUBLIC INPUT ON CHANGING TO DISTRICT-BASED ELECTIONS

SCHOOL BOARD GETS NO PUBLIC INPUT ON CHANGING TO DISTRICT-BASED ELECTIONS

Updated 12-7-17 6:30 p.m. to clarify the attorney’s fees.

Morongo Unified School District Board of Education met last night in a special meeting that was the first of two public hearings about the at-large versus district elections. Reporter Eric Knabe fills us in…
A handful of residents showed up for the Morongo Unified School District board of trustees’ public hearing last night—in which board members discussed changing to a district-based election as opposed to the current at-large elections of board members—but there was no public comment from anyone in the audience. Superintendent Tom Baumgarten explained that fighting this legislation would be more expensive than the transition process itself; if the school district fought the change, litigation fees for the district’s lawyer could reach $800,000 for just the first level of litigation. Of the 28 entities that have fought the change, none has been successful; and Palmdale paid $4.3 million in legal fees and still lost. Board members discussed options of changing to five districts or three districts with two at-large members. The next public hearing will be December 12.

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