The League of United Latin American Citizens has appealed the new Little Rock School District school board zones to the Pulaski County Election Commission, a three-member group comprising two Democrats and one Republican.
UPDATE: However, the Election Commission says that the Little Rock and North Little Rock school districts are exempted by state law from review of zone boundaries by the county election commission and so it will not be considering new zones in either district.
LULAC, in a message from Terry Trevino-Richard, said the boundaries adopted by a racially divided School Board last week (the black majority favored the new map) didn’t follow a rational reasoning but seemed designed primarily to address the personal desires of school board members, particularly Michael Nellums, whose boundary proposal was adopted. LULAC called the map an “arbitrary and covert attempt to minimize the represenation of Latino students and parents.” It suggests it might take legal action if the new map is put in place.
LULAC had favored a plan that concentrated more of the district’s growing Latino population in a single school board zone. The plan approved divided that population between two zones. It’s unlikely a map could currently be drawn with majority Latino population, much less majority Latino voters, but a solid voting group could be influential in school board races, where turnout is often quite small.
Trevino-Richard’s letter to county election officials follows. He told me later that he was talking with LULAC officials about the possibility of legal action, but no firm decision had been made.