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Legislature to make changes to school district split law on Wednesday

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Utah Governor Spencer Cox called a Special Session last week to convene state lawmakers to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, June 19. The Special Session was called to address several urgent state matters and includes logistical changes to the recently passed SB221 “School District Amendments” which significantly impacts the current reconfiguration process being conducted throughout the Alpine School District.

HB3003 was publicly released on Saturday and will be taken up by legislators on Wednesday to make several law changes to how school district splits are administered.

Changes include:

1. A. The new school district(s) board members will be voted on in a primary election, if necessary, on the second Tuesday following the first Monday in August.

B. The new school district(s) board members will be elected in the general election on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

C. The filing period for a declaration of candidacy for school board will be the same as the filing period for the municipal election.

2. The county commission must create the new district(s) school board member district boundaries by April 1 of the year following the election to create a new district(s).

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3. Current school district boards may not put a split option on the ballot. Only citizen petition, a municipality or an interlocal agreement can put a split on the ballot.

4. A municipality may not enter into more than one interlocal agreement for the purpose of submitting for voter approval, in the same election, a proposal to create a new school district.

5. A municipality may not withdraw from an interlocal agreement after Aug. 1 of the year in which it was filed.

6. If a majority of all municipalities that are participants in the interlocal agreement vote to withdraw from the interlocal agreement, the request is void and the interlocal agreement participants may not participate in a new or a revised request until the following year.

7. Public comment period changes from 45 days to 30 days.

8. The new school district(s) are created if a majority of the voters in the proposed new school district boundaries vote in favor of creating the new school district.

9. The county commission that conducts redistricting for the new school district(s) shall, at the meeting where the county legislative bodies adopt the final redistricting maps, adjust the initial terms of the board members for the new school district so that approximately half of the board members on each board will have an initial term of three years, with the other members having an initial term of five years.

The bill updates will be deliberated and voted on Wednesday.

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“The primary purposes of the bill are to prevent confusion on the ballot and prevent confusion as to what happens if a split proposal passes. The voters of the Alpine School District need to be clear on what they are voting on and what will happen if a split occurs,” said House Sponsor Brady Brammer when reached Monday morning.