Phoenix Union High School Governing Board Adopts Redistricting Map

Posted by Community Relations Department at 4/3/2012

The Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board adopted a new governing board election wards map at a special meeting, March 27.  Presented with two proposed maps, the board voted 5-0 with one abstention to approve the map entitled “Voting Rights Emphasis,” which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for pre-clearance.  If approved by the DOJ, The new election wards will not be in effect until the 2014 Governing Board election.

Phoenix Union began the redistricting process in January to comply with a 1990 consent decree born out of a court case to review, and if necessary, re-draw the boundaries based on decennial census information in order to keep each of the five wards as “nearly equal” in population, as possible, and in conformance with voting rights requirements.  Because of rapid population growth in some areas of the school district, and population loss in other areas, new ward boundaries had to be created.

Based on the 2010 Census, each ward should have an “ideal” total population size of 130,518, without diminishing minority voting representation. The adopted map has wards ranging in population from 128,094 to 131,288 residents. The greatest change came in Ward 1 in Southwest Phoenix and Laveen, which went from 169,000 residents to 131,000. Wards 2, 3 and 4 added 12,000-17,000 more residents in the new alignment.

The percent of voting age minority residents increased from 57% to 69% in Ward 4, but dropped two percentage points (39% to 37%) in Ward 3, the only ward that had less than 50% voting age minority residents.  Four of the five wards are minority-majority wards, and minority representation was not diminished.

Phoenix Union has seven governing board seats, five representing geographic wards, and two that are at-large, meaning those members are elected from all voters residing in the District.  The reapportioned wards will not be used until 2014, when the five single-district governing board terms end.  The two at-large governing board seats will be determined in the 2012 election.

The adopted map with realigned ward boundaries is available at www.phoenixunion.org/redistricting