San Antonio Independent School District will kick off its decennial redistricting process with a community engagement process as it seeks to reapportion residents more evenly into its seven single-member districts.
An unequal population increase over the past decade means SAISD must redraw boundaries for six out of seven districts.
In the district’s announcement Friday, it shared that 2020 U.S. census data for San Antonio shows a 21.7% population differential between District 2, SAISD’s most populated district, and District 4, its least populated. Only District 5 will not require redistricting changes, the district said.
School districts must redistrict every 10 years to ensure fair board representation, with the Texas Education Code requiring school boards to re-divide single-member districts to keep the population differential among them to 10% or less.
New maps must be approved by February 2023, so that they can be used for SAISD’s board elections in May 2023.
The board has adopted criteria to draw the new maps, including maintaining communities of interest, such as neighborhoods, observing geographic boundaries when possible and making sure the districts are of roughly equal size.
SAISD has the third-largest student population among 15 Bexar County-area school districts and is the 13th-largest of Texas’ 1,057 school districts. Based on 2010 census data, the district encompasses 79 square miles within the city, with a population of 306,943 residents.
The district will work with San Antonio-based law firm Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle, the same firm the City of San Antonio used in its recent redistricting effort.
Neighborhoods already within SAISD’s school district will remain in SAISD, the district said, while neighborhoods in neighboring school districts will remain in those neighboring districts. The redistricting process will not add new districts, nor will it impact attendance zones, feeder patterns or taxes in any way, the district said.
Over the next month, the district will gather community input for its proposed new maps at Redistricting Town Hall Meetings hosted by trustees. SAISD Superintendent Jaime Aquino will attend each town hall, with at least one trustee member to host a public discussion session. SAISD families, teachers, staff and members of the community are all invited to participate.
The 2020 demographic data the district will use to guide its redistricting efforts will be available at each meeting, the district said.
District 6 Trustee Christina Martinez will host the first meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Whittier Middle School. The public can attend in person or virtually via Zoom. Spanish translation and a sign-language interpreter will be provided. For more information visit www.SAISD.net/redistricting or email firstname.lastname@example.org.