April 24, 2024

C-M redistricting due to census data change

Colfax-Mingo Community School Board is re-districting. This is a requirement after the census results showed the electoral districts need to be equalized based on the change in population distribution.  Iowa Code 275.23a details the standards to follow and says that director districts must be nearly equal as practicable to the ideal population. The census was done in 2020 and school districts must complete their redistricting by May 15, 2023.

Colfax-Mingo is currently a 7-member district board that was agreed upon at the time of the Colfax and Mingo merger in 1985.   At the regularly scheduled April 17th meeting, the CM board will decide if we will remain a 7-member board or go to a 5-member board.  With that change, we will also consider adding “at-large” districts instead of having all districts be specifically drawn.  The 2 main options being discussed are remaining a 7-member board with four distinct districts and 3 at-large districts or going to a 5-member board with 3 distinct districts and 2 at-large districts.

Colfax-Mingo is using Cornerstone Geospatial Consulting, an Iowa-based company with experience in non-partisan redistricting.  While other school boards may have already or will be making changes to their boards make-up at the same time as the CM board, in 2019, 66 percent (or 215 total) school boards were five member and 34 percent (113 total) school boards were 7-member boards. Large districts are required by law to have a 7-member board.

A smaller board offers more flexibility with each distinct district being larger. This means there is a larger pool for potential director candidates to serve.  A 7-member board brings more voices to the table and may mean a more representative voice from all areas of the district.  The at-large positions in either scenario offer additional flexibility for interested directors to serve.

The board is interested in your opinion prior to the April 17 meeting.  If you have questions, concerns or would like to offer your thoughts, contact the superintendent, Tim Salmon, at Central Office 515-674-3247 or tsalmon@colfaxmingo.org.