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County schools begin redistricting process

October 5, 2011

The Clay County School District started the process of redistricting on Tuesday night, a task the county schhol board faces once every 10 years.
As determined by the U.S. Department of Justice, the district is tasked with creating districts that fall as evenly as possible along racial lines, with all five districts needed to come with a 10-percent variance of each other. A racially diverse district, the county school’s proposed plan, offered up by Toby Sanford with the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District, offers a variance of about 3.3 percent, safely beflow the 10-percent standard set by the department of justice.
The five districts, all located in western Clay County, include the communities of Pheba, Montpelier, Caradine, Cairo and Pine Bluff. The only change from the district’s last map was a change in Pheba, where the GTPDD proposed to move parts of Hogan Street from District 1 into District 2, evening up both districts. Of the five districts, the largest contains 513 people, the smallest contains 496.
The Clay County School Board heard Sanford’s recommendations at its regulary scheduled meeting Tuesday night, but Tuesday’s meeting was just the first step in the redistricting process. Up next, the board will plan a public hearing, which will be advertised for two weeks in the Daily Times Leader before it is held. While no firm date was established at Tuesday night’s meeting, discussions indicated the public hearing will likely take place in mid-November, and will likely be held at West Clay Elementary School.
Once the hearing is held, the school board can then vote to adopt the proposed plan or to revise it at its December meeting.

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