Sen. James Skoufis announced that his bill, S.7587, which permits school boards of education in Orange County to opt-into a ward system for school board elections, passed the State Senate.
School districts typically span through multiple towns and often include various competing interests. One way to safeguard equal representation across an entire district is to elect candidates from each geographic component of the community.
The bill still needs the Assembly’s and then the governor’s approval.
In order to prevent over-representation or under-representation of one geographical area over the other on a school board, this legislation would give voters the option to approve a referendum that requires candidates reside in the respective election district.
“Wards for school districts are vitally important to ensure equal representation,” said Kevin Radday, co-founder of Preserve Blooming Grove. “The Washingtonville School District is large and diverse and we need to make sure that for years to come all children of the district are represented.”
“Now more than ever, it is important that we create and maintain equal representation in our school districts,” added Stephen Keahon, co-founder of Preserve Chester. “Thank you to Senator Skoufis and the Senate for passing this crucial bill and ensuring everyone has a voice.”
Both communities have large projects in various stages of development that look to attract Hasidic families.