New Hanover County School Board discusses redistricting plan

NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Last month, New Hanover County school officials unveiled a redistricting plan that could send thousands of children to new schools.

Just two years ago, a controversial plan shuffled close to 6,000 students.

The new proposal for the 2009 school year will affect about 2,500 students.

Monday night, members brought up the controversial issue of redistricting.  Leaders tried to come up with a plan but didn't have much success.

Diversity and overcrowding are the two main reasons for the proposed switch.

Administrators also say it's necessary because the district is opening a new elementary school in the northern part of the county next year, and they are creating a district for inner-city Johnson Elementary.

Different suggestions were given at the meeting.  One would be to just move children around in the north schools.

Another would be to shift students who attend magnet schools to help alleviate overcrowding.

The main discussion was on diversity and how a redistricting plan can accomplish it, but no one on the board could answer that question.  Now, the plan is going back to the drawing board.

The committee will present more options in the upcoming months, and parents are urged to voice their opinions.

The deadline for a final decision is February 2009.

Reported by Lynda Figueredo