By Conrad Dudderar
A new map shows more than 50,000 people now live in the Yukon school district.
New school board district boundaries have been finalized for Yukon Public Schools.
The YPS Board of Education this week voted 5-0 to approve a board redistricting resolution that affects the five board posts.
Populations within those five posts total 50,087.
Since YPS is divided into school board districts for purposes of election, the school district is mandated by state statute to reapportion those districts the year after the official federal decennial census is submitted to the U.S. president.
The U.S. Department Commerce submitted the 2020 U.S. Census in 2021.
“When the Census comes out, we have to redistrict our boards seats just like the Senate and Legislature,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said.
“It’s an ‘equalization’ of the families served by each board member.”
The newly approved YPS map shows these populations by board district, based on the U.S. Census:
Post 1 – 9,768
Post 2 – 10,018
Post 3 – 10,314
Post 4 – 10,248
Post 5 – 9,739
“Some of the lower ones are lower – not much – to account for possible growth in the next 10 years,” Simeroth added.
YPS Board of Education members by board district are:
Suzanne Cannon (Post 1), Leonard Wells (Post 2), Chris Cunningham (Post 3), Brian Coulson (Post 4), and Cody Sanders (Post 5).
Board districts “shall be compact, contiguous and as equal in population as practical” with not more than a 10% variance between the most populous and least populous districts, according to the YPS board redistricting resolution.
“We’re trying to represent all of the kids in an equal manner according to the state census,” Cannon said.
The previous YPS board map – after the 2020 Census – showed the five districts with populations around 7,000.
So, each board district has increased by about 3,000 people over the past decade.
“We’ve had some phenomenal growth,” Cannon noted. “I don’t think it’s slowing down any, either.”
Board members have “carefully reviewed and considered maps of the school district’s population in an effort to adhere to the statutory requirements,” the redistricting resolution reads.
Although YPS board boundaries were redrawn based on population changes, this does not affect the five current board members or seats they occupy.
In Oklahoma, school board members are elected to serve five-year terms.