Wake school board expected to vote on redistricting
Posted May 16, 2011 5:28 p.m. EDT
Updated May 17, 2011 4:17 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The Wake County Board of Education is expected to vote Tuesday on plans to change the boundaries of its voting districts.
The school system redraws the district map every 10 years based upon population and growth data from the United States Census. A new map is due by June 24 so that candidates can begin the campaign for the Oct. 11 election.
The filing period for school board candidates begins July 25.
The state NAACP, a vocal critic of the board's Republican majority and its move away from a longstanding assignment policy of busing students for diversity purposes, spoke out against the proposed redistricting Tuesday morning and asked that the board delay the vote until further community input could be given.
"We deplore this latest effort to consolidate resegregation, and we respectfully ask the superintendent to work with us and other organizations who want the best for our children-high quality, diverse, constitutional schools," NAACP chapter President Rev. William Barber said in a statement.
The school board has also been criticized by The League of Women Voters and Great Schools in Wake for what they perceive to be "a lack of openness" in the redistricting process. Both groups unveiled proposed redistricting maps last month, but the board did not consider them.
Last week, board members did hold a public hearing on the new district mapping, but less than a dozen people – many of whom were connected in some way to the League of Women Voters or Great Schools in Wake – spoke.
The school board hired the Shanahan Law Group in February to draw a new map in which districts would be approximately equal in population, minority representation would be increased, precincts would be kept intact and incumbents would be kept in the same district.
Also on the meeting agenda is a discussion on reducing the system's work force in light of state budget cuts for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Under the $1.25 billion budget approved this month, the school district plans to cut 46 central services clerical positions and reduce contract months for assistant principals, among other measures.