New Hanover County redistricting committee looks at first proposal Wednesday

NHC redistricting board committee

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County redistricting committee saw the first proposal by Cropper GIS Consulting on Wednesday.

Scott Burrell is a parent of a child that attends Alderman Elementary School. Alderman is one of the schools most affected by the proposals.

“We have a school that has notoriously not been a good school over the past three or four years, with the addition of a new principal, has made that place an awesome great school to learn. And how it stands right now, we are looking at it, only 34 of those kids will remain at that school,” said Burrell.

The drastic changes at Alderman are a concern for board chair David Wortman.

“We need to make sure that we aren’t just looking at numbers, but looking at schools,” said Wortman. “Looking at what that special school is doing. Alderman is a very diverse school and we should look at it as a model.”

In the consultant's first report, redistricting would affect every elementary school in the county and impact between 20 and 25 percent of the students in those schools.

“We sat down and looked at the maps and circled some areas of concern that we would like to talk to Cropper Group with,” said Wortman “But this is why we are doing this, so that we can have different people talking.”

Camelia Albright does not have any children in the schools but is concerned that the committee does what is best for all students in New Hanover County.

“Kids are going to be put in situations where they are moved and have to be transported,” said Albright. “Why should I go 15 or 20 minutes to the other side to meet your quota? Why is that happening? Why are the kids going to have to suffer because of these maps? And who’s speaking for the kids?”

The committee only looked at elementary schools Wednesday because Cropper GIS Consulting didn’t have complete data for middle school enrollments.

The redistricting committee hopes to resend a final plan to the NHC Board of Education in December.

The changes would go into effect for the 2020-21 school year.

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