WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – During this year’s election, people living in the Wichita school district will have a special question about how they elect school board members.

In the primary, people can vote on the person in their district and the one at-large seat. In the general election, it is a free for all, with voters voting for every seat.

However, there is an argument that the current system disenfranchises voters from poorer neighborhoods. USD 259 is broken up into six districts.

Districts three and four have 26,000 and 28,000 voters, respectively. But district two in east Wichita has roughly 43,000 voters. District five in west Wichita has almost 35,000 voters. The two areas could dominate in an at-large general election.

In August, the USD 259 Board of Education approved a motion for change, giving voters in November’s general election the power to choose whether to keep the old system or change it to where people vote only for the school board seat representing their district.

On the ballot, voting yes on the USD 259 school board ballot question would change the process in the future and let voters only choose the person representing the district they live in.

A no vote would keep it the same.

Here is how the question reads

Six (6) board member positions for the U.S.D. 259 Board of Education are now elected from separate districts and one board member is elected at-large. Voters in primary elections vote for member positions from the district where they reside and for an at-large member position. Voters in general elections vote for member positions from all six (6) districts and for the at-large member position.

It is proposed the method of electing board members be changed to a system wherein voters in both primary and general elections vote for the member position from the district where they reside and for the at-large member position.




Read about the ballot measure on the USD 259 website.