We deserve more representation

We deserve more representation

Justin Trujillo, Staff Writer

With the election coming up, many people are running for local city councils and the district board. People often underestimate how important our district board is. They make decisions regarding the budget and where funds will be directed. There is even 2 student positions on the board. When we went into quarantine, I sat at home every other Wednesday and watched the board meetings. I even wanted to be on the board. When school was approaching, I was excited to apply to the board for the new semester. But, that never happened. There was no application, no news, just a new pair of student trustees. How’d they get there? Did I miss something? I would think that a school district who serves communities of over 25,000 students would have more than just 2 student representing them on the board. And I would think that they would make it clear on how to apply to the board.

Underrepresentation seems to be a pattern in this district. When a task force was being assembled to draw the back to school plan, they asked for help by sharing forms where you could apply to join the task force. In the meeting where they shared the plan, there were no teachers. There were also no students from the Pinole/Hercules area. Although that was a few months ago, we must not forget that happened. People are still being underrepresented. It truly is a shame that a school district failed to have teachers involved in their presentation to return to school. It truly is a shame that a school district failed to have students represented.

I asked my friend Luke Shalz what he thought about his experience on the board, and his process getting on it. Here’s what he had to say:

“Getting on the board wasn’t a very straight forward process”

“I personally don’t even know the full process of getting on there. Once I was on, I did enjoy it”

“I learned many things being on there and agree that the process should be easier. Students should also have more of a say.”

With this election coming up, the board has changed their system. There will be 1 board member per area. With a total of 5 areas, this gives each area a chance to be represented. Below I will link the map showing each area. Also with this change, I think the district should take the right measures to ensure students are also represented by area.

I propose rather than having 2 students in total, they add more students to either have 1 per area or 1 per high school. Since area 3 doesn’t have a high school, that could be adding 2 more students rather than 3. They should also make the process of applying to be a board member much more transparent. The whole point of having student positions is to have student representation. If there isn’t a clear way to have students apply, are we really being represented? This article is in no offense to any past or present student trustees. They do a great job but I do believe there should be more representation.