Wake school board opposes state lawmakers' push for redistricting
Posted April 23, 2013
Cary, N.C. — The Wake County Board of Education came out Tuesday against a bill before state lawmakers that would redraw district lines and change the way school board members are elected.
In a 6-2 vote, the board adopted a resolution in support of the current district maps and elections process.
"What we have is a General Assembly coming into a local case and putting down their will," school board member Tom Benton said.
The bill, which passed the Senate Monday night and is now headed to the House, would change school board elections from odd-numbered years when city councils are elected to the primaries of even-numbered years, when partisan candidates for the General Assembly and Congress are chosen.
It would also create seven individual districts and two regional super-districts. The two regional districts would be split between a donut-shaped zone that takes in the county's rural areas and an urban district taking in most of Raleigh and Cary in the middle.
Board member Susan Evans said that, while the current maps are not perfect, they are balanced and proportional and keep communities together.
"The newly proposed maps are not compact in any way," she said. "They are crazy shapes."
Redistricting supporters, however, say the proposed maps and elections process would increase voter participation and provide better representation through the at-large regional seats.
During a work session earlier Tuesday, the school board discussed other big issues, including tweaks to the superintendent's proposed budget and priorities for a $900 million school construction bond.