Petition to Redraw Central Bucks School District’s Regions Map Would Reshape School Board Elections

The newly proposed map would provide electors the ability to vote every two years – versus four – for school board directors.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Bucks Voices will be hosting a “Drive & Sign” event Saturday to gather petition signatures from registered voters in the Central Bucks School District.

The petition has the potential to change how school board directors for the district are elected.

Just prior to the November 15 school board meeting of last year, former school board president Tracy Suits took note of an upcoming agenda item: “Approval to Revise School Board Director Voting Regions.”

“One of the first things that I noticed was that there was a lot of movement in the new map, which then led me to realize that some residents were being moved from a 2023 election year to 2025,” Suits said after reviewing the district’s proposed map.

READ: 3-2-1 Protest: Central Bucks Community Demonstrates Against Education Gag Policy

Access to the newly proposed regions map, along with other data, was and remains available on the district’s website.

Pennsylvania’s municipal elections, including seats for school board directors, are held every two years and those elected to school boards serve a four year term.

Depending where you live in Pennsylvania, your school district offers at large or regional voting.

Central Bucks utilizes regional voting and the district, based on current population data provided by way of the last census, is divided into nine equally populated regions. Currently, voters may cast a ballot for one candidate running for the school board from their region every four years.

The district’s newly proposed regions map revealed that more than 6,000 residents in New Britain Boro and Doylestown Township would be disenfranchised from casting a vote by moving them from a region with a 2023 voting year to a region with a 2025 voting year.

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When Suits attended the Nov. 15 meeting she asked the board to consider her map as an alternative to their proposed regions redraw.

Suits said she explained to the board that her map was “mathematically equal to, or better than the map they were voting on in terms of equal population distribution, and also did not change any elector’s voting year.”

The school board voted to move forward with their version of the map and have filed a petition with the court for approval of the new region boundaries.

Suits’ final map, crafted after the November school board meeting, contains three regions versus the district’s proposed nine.

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Reducing the regions from nine to three would allow voters to cast ballots for school board candidates every two, versus four, years.

Additionally, the three region map would not disrupt the election cycle of any currently seated director.

Suits said she explained to the board that her map was “mathematically equal to, or better than the map they were voting on in terms of equal population distribution, and also did not change any elector’s voting year.”

The school board voted to move forward with their version of the map and have filed a petition with the court for approval of the new region boundaries.

READ: Central Bucks School District’s Cruelty Toward LGBTQ+ Students May Finally Get The Scrutiny It Deserves

Suits and CBSD Fair Votes, a group of local citizens who reside in a variety of municipalities across the district, want all voters to have more input in school board director elections along with voting regions that are an accurate reflection of the community.

“We are collecting signatures across the District to file a counter proposal voting map with the Court of Common Pleas according to PA School Code,” she said.

There are a variety of locations to access the petition including Saturday’s convenient drive-thru, where you may sign without having to leave your vehicle, sponsored by Bucks Voices, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at The Atrium, 301 South Main Street in Doylestown.

In addition to Saturday’s drive-thru, there are more than a dozen additional opportunities for residents to sign the petition before the January 31 deadline.

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Bucks Voices is a Bucks County based voter engagement group that informs, engages and mobilizes the community to realize the ideals of our democracy: a government that represents all of us and creates a progressive and just society where everyone can realize their full potential.

Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in Lansdale, PA.

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