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Public urged to provide input
Ripon School District to hold final reapportionment meeting
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RIPON — Ripon voters are being urged to attend the last of three meetings regarding redistricting plans for Ripon Unified and provide their input. This final session seeking public comments on the reapportionment issue will be held at Park View Elementary School, 751 Cindy Drive, starting at 7 o’clock on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

The tentative reapportionment has come as a result of the 2010 census which showed that the community’s educational growth over 10 years have increased by over 4,000 residents – from 13,000 to 17,300 residents.  The school district extends beyond the city limits of Ripon.

The Ripon Unified School District trustees created a committee comprised of board members Kit Oase and Ernie Tyhurst to gather input from voters as to the reapportionment process.

Both school board members have past experience with school district redistricting and reapportionment of schools.  District Superintendent Louise Johnson has also been assigned to take part in the public query sessions.

Consultants charging some $25,000 to complete the same review process in other districts were not considered in Ripon reportedly because of the budget cuts the school district has already suffered from the lagging economy.

The first two reapportionment meetings were held in November – one at Weston Elementary School and the other at Ripon High School.  It was noted during those meetings that the board seat of Jack DeLiddo does not include any school within its geographic boundaries.

Tuesday’s meeting will begin with a Power Point presentation to show the changes that have occurred within the school district since 2000. 

The session also will cover a review of the board seat representations in the district and the disadvantages of options.   Also to be included is a list of the possible criteria that should be considered when redrawing the school district member boundaries.

Currently, candidates for the school board are nominated from specific areas within the district boundaries, but serve at-large representing the entire Ripon population.

It has been the intent of the meetings to draw community input on the potential criteria that is to be used to determine district seats as well as to get similar input relating to neighborhoods so that they can be considered in the school board’s ultimate determinations.

After the last community reapportionment session at Park View School, the committee is scheduled to develop plans that will be submitted to the Ripon Unified School District Board of Education at its January 9 meeting in the Ripon City Council chambers.

Members of the public wishing to offer their comments are asked to limit their remarks to between two and four minutes.  Speakers are also asked to be prepared to answer questions from the committee members in clarifying their ideas.  The final district plan is to be put into effect before the November 2012 general election.

Those wishing to be on the speakers’ list for the Park View School meeting may call the district office at 599-2131.