Richardson ISD has released a proposed voting district map in advance of their community meeting Tuesday night. The boundaries divide RISD voters into five single-member districts – including two majority-minority districts – making election of minority representatives on the school board more likely. Two trustees will continue to be elected at-large.
You may view the proposed map here.
Voting districts were needed after RISD lawyers settled the 2018 lawsuit filed by former trustee David Tyson, Jr., the only minority member ever to serve. Tyson alleged that RISD’s at-large voting system violated the Voting Rights Act. Even though white students comprise a minority of RISD enrollees, he said, white voters are a majority at the polls and tend to favor white candidates. Tyson alleged the district’s all-white board dedicated more resources to students and schools in prosperous areas of the district, which led to an “egregious achievement gap.”
If the judge insists on keeping the election in May, candidates running for the three open seats could be elected at-large, with implementation of districts pushed back to 2020. If the judge approves RISD’s request to move the election to November, candidates will likely run for district-specific seats.
Trustees will host a meeting Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. at the RISD Administration Building to gather community input and share information, then they will vote to finalize the plan.
You may read RISD answers to FAQs here.