An ad-hoc committee of the Pennsbury Board of School Directors is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, May 30 to review U.S. Census data on local population figures and examine whether current election region boundaries within Pennsbury ensure compliance with the law. The Board Realignment Committee is composed of Board President, Allan Weisel (representing Region 3), and two appointed School Directors. These are Board Vice President, Simon Campbell (representing Region 1), and Board member, Gary Sanderson (representing Region 2). The public meeting will take place in the multi-purpose room at Fallsington Elementary School at 7 p.m.
Every school district in Pennsylvania is required to elect a nine-member Board. According to the Pennsylvania School Code of 1949, there are various options for the election of School Directors. Currently, the members of Pennsbury’s Board are elected by registered voters in three election regions, with three members per region. However, a recent review of the latest U.S. Census data reflects a substantial population disparity among the regions.
"We need to follow the law," School Board President Allan Weisel said. "Imbalanced representation has existed in Pennsbury for several years. These meetings will give the Board and the public ample time to examine and discuss this important matter."
The last time that a reapportionment plan was approved by the court for Pennsbury was in 1993.
The School Code requires equivalency, or "as nearly equal as possible" regions in the current structure of Pennsbury's three regions. The Board Realignment Committee will consider this approach – and what precincts would need to be realigned to accommodate the population shift -- in addition to examining other legal options. There are three possible election plans for the Board to consider: at-large (all nine members are elected district-wide), regional (the District is divided into either three or nine equal or nearly equal regions), or a combination of at-large and regional.
At the public meeting on May 30, Pennsbury Business Administrator, Daniel Rodgers, will present an overview of Pennsbury’s population, election regions, and options before the ad-hoc committee. One hour will be set aside for public comment on this topic by Pennsbury residents at the May 30 meeting, as well as the usual hours of public comment during the June 7 and June 14 School Board meetings.
The ad-hoc committee is expected to make a recommendation to the full, nine-member Board of School Directors. At the June 7 and June 14 meetings, the School Board will deliberate on the issues and accept public comment. If determined to be necessary, the nine-member Board is expected to approve a reapportionment plan at its June 14 regular voting meeting, prior to submitting its approved proposal to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas for the Court’s approval, as required by the School Code.