Decision on Frisco ISD's at-large system for board members now rests with judge

The lawsuit claiming Frisco ISD’s at-large voting system prevents minority candidates from getting elected to the board of trustees ended May 29. U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant is still considering the case and is expected to make a ruling at a later date. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
The lawsuit claiming Frisco ISD’s at-large voting system prevents minority candidates from getting elected to the board of trustees ended May 29. U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant is still considering the case and is expected to make a ruling at a later date. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)

The lawsuit claiming Frisco ISD’s at-large voting system prevents minority candidates from getting elected to the board of trustees ended May 29. U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant is still considering the case and is expected to make a ruling at a later date. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)

A decision about whether Frisco ISD’s at-large voting system prevents minority candidates from getting elected to the board of trustees is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant.

His ruling, which will draw on the evidence and testimony presented in federal court in Sherman last week, is expected at a later date.

The suit, filed in April 2019, called on FISD to alter its at-large system into single-member districts for board members. Under the current system, every board member represents the entire district rather than specified geographic areas of the district.

Brewer Storefront, the law firm that filed the suit on behalf of Frisco resident Suresh Kumar, has sued other local school districts, including Richardson and Lewisville ISDs, in an effort to change their at-large systems. LISD’s suit is pending, and RISD reached a settlement that has the district converting five of its seven board seats to single-member districts.

The trial concluded May 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Courthouse in Sherman. The plantiff’s attorneys called eight witnesses during the trial. Those included Kumar and former candidates for the FISD board who were defeated, including Grace Wang and Muni Janagarajan, among others. Previously filed court documents showed the plantiff’s case involved experts stating minority candidates would have a greater chance of getting elected to the board if the district created single-member districts.


FISD’s attorneys called 11 witnesses, including FISD Superintendent Mike Waldrip, board President Chad Rudy and board Vice President John Classe, among others. Previously filed court documents show FISD’s experts planned to argue that the methodology being used by the plaintiff’s experts was inconsistent.

FISD was represented by the firm of Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett, P.C.
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is editor of the Frisco edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


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