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Irving ISD to Have Mix of Single-Member, At-Large Districts

Irving ISD board voted Thursday night

By Christine Lee
|  Thursday, Jan 12, 2012  |  Updated 10:27 PM CDT
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Representation in Irving School Board Challenged

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Representation in Irving School Board Challenged

The Irving ISD School Board will vote to decide whether the Board will reflect single member districts.
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The Irving Independent School District will change how its board is elected.

The school board approved a plan for five single-member districts and two at-large districts.

Currently, the district has seven at-large districts. People who live within Irving ISD's boundaries of Irving ISD vote for all seven school board members through district-wide elections.

The issue of whether to move to single member districts, which would break down the current single district into smaller sections has been the subject of ongoing debate.

People on both sides of the issue addressed board members during a series of three public hearings earlier this month.

"It's not about race. It really isn't. It's about fairness," Jorge Chac III, who supported single-member districts, said before the board's vote.

"If they're not willing to work to get elected, then they're probably not going to work that hard after they are," said Lucia Rottenberg, who supported keeping the current at-large district.

Ronda Huffstetler, who has been a board member for 11 years, said both sides were clearly heard. Change is inevitable, she said.

"I do believe that representation on the board needs to have diversity to it," she said. "I believe all colors, all economics should have the same opportunity to serve on the board."

Huffstetler said she has seen the school district in the past decade change from white majority to white minority.

Pedro Portillo, a parent of two Irving ISD students, said a single-district plan creates the diversity needed on the school board.

"I think it's the best for the school, the best for the city and for the community, and for the children and the parents," he said.

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