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Hearing tonight on Lodi Unified School District voting system

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1305 E. Vine St. Lodi CA

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 12:00 am

Lodi Unified School District will conduct a public hearing tonight and consider changing the boundaries each of the seven board members represent.

In a related action, trustees will consider allowing voters to cast their ballots only for candidates who live within the same trustee boundaries as they do. Currently, trustees must live within a particular geographical area in their district, but voters may cast their ballots for candidates in all seven trustee areas.

Board members George Neely, Ron Heberle, Ron Freitas and Ruth Davis live in Lodi; Bonnie Cassel is from Clements; and Ralph Womack and Joe Nava are from North Stockton.

The recommendations are being made after school districts have been sued or threatened with lawsuits because board members didn’t reflect the district’s diversity, according to a draft resolution.

The changes are being considered to reflect the 2010 Census. If the Lodi Unified board adopts the resolution, a second public hearing will be held at a later date, this one by the San Joaquin County Board of Education.

If the county board approves the proposed election changes regarding Lodi Unified, the proposal will be forwarded to the California Board of Education, which has final discretion.

In other action tonight, Lodi Unified trustees will:

  • Consider allocating up to $2 million to carry out a temporary class-size reduction plan, to avoid classes with more than one grade level for first through fourth grades. The plan would focus on support for students who need extra help in reading, math or both. Twenty-four additional teachers would be needed.
  • Consider adding a junior ROTC program as a Regional Occupational Program course at McNair High School in Stockton for the 2014-15 school year.

Today’s board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the James Areida Education Support Center, 1305 E. Vine St., Lodi.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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