Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pennsbury, civic group go to court to rebalance voting districts

The district's move is common when some districts grow larger than others. A group backed by the teachers union is seeking a drastic change from three voting regions to nine.

Pennsbury, civic group go to court to rebalance voting districts

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Pennsburty School Board Vice President Simon Campbell might lose his seat under a voting-district plan proposed by a civic group backed by the teachers' and support-workers' unions.

Lawyers for the Pennsbury School District and a civic group backed by its teachers' union will be in Bucks County Court this morning to present plans for rebalancing the district's voting regions.

The district is proposing minor changes to its three voting regions to even out the population of 71,000 and preserve the principle of "one man, one vote."

The civic group, Concerned Residents of Pennsbury (CROP), is seeking a more radical revision, dividng the district into nine regions. CROP, led by the unions for the teachers and support staffs, says the none regions would provide for more balanced representaton.

In filing its petion to the court, CROP inadvertently included internal memos stating that its plan would eliminate the seats of one or two school board members who have fought the unions and their candidates at the polls and in contract negotiations.

Provided "the opportunity to cut off the head of the snake by denying [board Vice President Simon] Campbell a seat to run for, why not go for the kill?" one memo said.

CROP's lawyer, David Truelove, scoffed at the district's accusation that the group was politicizing the process.



About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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