The Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education is seeking input from the public before it decides on one of three redistricting maps to equalize population in its five districts.
The board decided on three options (B, D and E) at a work session April 11. Redistricting is done after every U.S. Census.
Population numbers indicated Districts 3, represented by Jeffery Morgan, and 1, represented by Gary Tripp, had too many people. District 4, represented by Noreen Scott, had too few.
Districts 2, represented by Amanda Galbraith, and 5, represented by Jessica Tyler, were just about right.
Redistricting the board members’ constituencies will not affect attendance boundaries for students. The board considered growing to six or seven members, but decided that would lead to more problems and the traditional five board members would be ideal.
Of six original maps, Tyler said she liked Plan B best, with Plan D a close second, but Plan E, she said, had the most-equal population numbers, with a deviation of plus or minus 5 percent. Based on the city’s population, around 105,000, the “ideal,” population of each district would be about 21,500.
After hearing from Michael Sharp of Research & Polling, which provided technical assistance to the district, delineate each option’s advantages, board members voted unanimously to limit public choices to plans B, D and E.
Scott found those to be “three very good options,” and said she had done research to see if it would be practical to have school districts match up with city council districts. It wouldn’t, she said
“Our school district is larger than the city limits,” she added.
Residents may view the three options at on the district website by clicking here or in person at Loma Colorado Main Library, 755 Loma Colorado Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9-5 on Fridays and Saturdays. The maps will be available through Saturday.
Anyone wanting to make comments to the board can do so in person at the next meeting, set for April 25, at 5 p.m., or online at https://fs9.formsite.com/rrps/fjadlrl6zq/index.html. Online comments need to be submitted before 3 p.m. April 25.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board:
- Approved an application for funding for the New Mexico Public Education Department’s Bilingual Multicultural Education Program, which has been in use at five RRPS schools: Puesta del Sol Elementary, Maggie Cordova Elementary, Eagle Ridge Middle School and Cleveland and Rio Rancho high schools.
- Approved Policy 300 (Inspection of Public Records) with minor changes, namely paper copies costing 25 cents per page or the actual cost of fulfilling the request, whichever is more. Board counsel Loren Hatch said “99.9 percent” of such requests, termed rare, are met with digital copies.
- Superintendent Sue Cleveland said the district has 250 teaching vacancies and 50 current educators are expected to retire when this school year ends, although the district had shown an improvement in recruiting and retention of employees.
- Cleveland lamented the shortage of funding expected from the state for the adoption of the English-Language Arts curriculum, a “considerable shortfall,” she termed it. The district would have worse shortages in transportation – already experiencing a $1 million deficit – with the increasing fuel prices, especially diesel, she said. Cleveland also said more funding will be necessary to pay for teachers’ increased compensation and the extended school year, up to 190 days in 2022-23.