Wake Schools focuses on redistricting map

Proposed redistricting map for the Wake County school board

May 10, 2011 7:50:11 PM PDT
A map is at the center of the latest debate at the Wake County Board of Education. The board has to vote on a new redistricting proposal.

But before they vote, they will hear from the public.

The map has been in the works for months and some school board members say it is about as fair as it can be, but others are concerned.

Board member John Tedesco says the new map more evenly distributes the population growth we've seen throughout the county over the past ten years.

"I've never seen a redistricting map that's been fairer," Tedesco said.

The population in each district would be around 100,000 people.

"Most of the districts, if not all nine of them, are within one percent standard deviation," he added. "That's phenomenal."

Tedesco says he's pleased the school board hired Kieran Shanahan's law firm to do the work.

"By having outside legal counsel create the maps as opposed to the board members, it allowed for a more fair process," Tedesco said. "If the board members want to sit out here tonight and sort of move this line or that line, my opinion would be that would be somewhat gerrymandering."

But the fact that Shanahan's firm is involved is one reason why board member Anne McLaurin is concerned.

"I think that that was a partisan decision, and I think if there's anything that you want to do in situations like this, is to make it as less partisan as possible," McLaurin said.

Her district was one of the most affected by the changes and she doesn't know if she'll be voting for the proposed map. She wishes they had more than just one option to consider, but Tedesco disagrees.

"The more the board members keep their hands out of it and just let the independent attorneys do it, the more fair the process will be," Tedesco added.

Nine people signed up to speak at Tuesday night's meeting.

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