If you’ve watched the news lately or picked up Monday’s Seattle Times, you probably know that Snoqualmie claimed the honor of Washington State’s fastest growing city. According to the 2000 census, Snoqualmie had 2,150 residents. 10 years later the census reports that Snoqualmie’s population skyrocketed to 10,670 residents. That’s a 396% increase. And one glaring statistic is that 34.9% of that population is under the age of 18.
The Snoqualmie Valley School District has 5 School Board Members representing 5 director districts. Each board member must live in their
directordistrict, but is elected by the whole district. Not one current school board member resides in Snoqualmie. Snoqualmie and part of Fall City are combined in director district #3. So in fact, Snoqualmie is represented by Fall City resident, Craig Husa.
These director districts were established 10 years ago and balanced by population – when Snoqualmie’s population was much smaller. North Bend’s population was the largest. Those districts made sense for the population balance during that time period. Flash forward 10 years and Snoqualmie now has almost double the population of North Bend. Yet North Bend has 3 district directors. Based on population, the director districts are not representative of the current population shift.
The Snoqualmie Valley School Board has 8 months from the time it receives new census data to complete a redistricting plan according to state law. SVSD School Board should receive its census data on March 15th. Enter a school board election this November in which 3 school board positions are up for grabs. The first available date for a candidate filing is June 6th. According to Washington State, new director districts should be established 30 days prior to this June 6th filing date – or by May 7th. If not, the election process proceeds based on current director districts. The elected officials then hold their board position until the term expires – or 4 years. In a nutshell, this means if the districts are not re-drawn quickly Snoqualmie could remain under-represented on the SVSD School Board (based on population) for another 4 years.
Many more details are available at http://snoqvalleystudentsuccess.blogspot.com/. If you are interested in getting involved I suggest reading Carolyn Simpson’s extensively researched article.