Education
1:11 pm
Fri June 10, 2011

Austin School Board To Discuss Redistricting Process Monday

While it is unlikely to be as politically contentious as the Congressional redistricting process playing out at the State Capitol, the Austin Independent School District is nevertheless tasked with having to redraw boundaries for the seven regional seats on the school board.

The process has to happen before the 2012 general election, and it will not have any effect on school attendance zones.

An analysis of new US Census Data by the Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta law firm found that “the trustee districts are sufficiently out of population balance” to warrant redistricting.

For example, Trustee Cheryl Bradley’s District 1 in northeast Austin has 79,959 voters. Trustee Robert Schneider’s District 7 in southwest Austin has 116,129 voters, according to the law firm’s analysis. That leaves southwest Austin voters with a substantially reduced voice on one of the largest local taxing districts in the region.  

The school board’s new maps will also be subject to the Voting Rights Act, which means they will have to be reviewed by the US Justice Department to make sure they do not reduce the voting power of protected minority groups.

On Monday night, school board members will review two “illustrative maps” that demonstrate possible changes to AISD Trustee districts. You can see them here and here.

The Austin school district will hold a public hearing on the maps the following Monday, June 20.