Friday, June 14, 2024

Lewisville ISD to transition to single-member district system

Lewisville ISD announced late Friday afternoon that it will soon transition to a new single-member system for its Board of Trustees following the resolution of a voting rights lawsuit.

In April 2022, Paige Dixon filed the lawsuit in federal court alleging the district’s election system “violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965 because it denies fair representation to voters of color.” Dixon, a black woman, had lost her race for a seat on the board the year before. The lawsuit claimed the district’s at-large voting system denies Hispanic, Asian and black voters “a fair opportunity to elect school board representatives of their choice,” because all seven school board members, as they had been for years, were white. The student population was 37.6% white, 30.5% Hispanic, 15.5% Asian and 11.6% African-American in 2020-21, according to Brewer Storefront attorneys, and the lawsuit says there should be board members of color for more fair representation.

The district announced Friday that at its Aug. 28 board meeting, the board will hold a public hearing, as required by law, on the transition to five single-member districts and two at-large seats, replacing the existing system of seven at-large seats.

The first elections under the new system are expected to take place in May 2024.

“The Board believes that it should represent every student, parent, and community member in Lewisville ISD, not simply the individuals residing within their neighborhood or their respective district,” the district said in a statement. “The Board is confident the proposed electoral system will ensure that a broad cross-section of the communities served by LISD are represented on the Board. Throughout the process leading to this change, the Board worked tirelessly and collaboratively to maintain its focus on the District’s vision that all students are confident, equipped with the knowledge and skills to thrive and adapt for their future.

“The LISD Board of Trustees is excited for this school year and the future of the district,” LISD continued in its statement. “We will move forward as a Board the way we always have; to achieve positive outcomes for ALL students across all 127 miles as ONE Lewisville ISD.”

A district spokesperson said staff don’t have more information about the change, such as if board members will have to live in the district they represent, or how many seats will be on ballots in May 2024. More details are expected to come out of the Aug. 28 board meeting.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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