Census data shows school districts need to be redesigned

Census data showed that school board member districts need to be redesigned due to demographic disparities within the district.

Population growth not only affects individual limits on school attendance, it also impacts school board member districts.

Florida Law 1001.36 requires that member districts of school boards be as “as equal in population as possible” and may only be changed in odd-numbered years.

Data from the 2020 census, released in August, indicates that school board member districts have grown disproportionately over the past decade, necessitating a redistribution (the process of drawing electoral district boundaries) in 2021 to achieve greater equality between districts.

Although population increases occurred in each of the five districts, the largest increases were seen in District 2, which experienced a 32% increase in population from 247,195 to 327,197, and in District 5, the district of Melissa Snively, member of the school board, whose population has grown from 249,874 to 309,719.

“As I have been a member of the school board for seven years, the population increase has been gradual and I haven’t really noticed an unmanageable workload,” she said.

While she hates losing one of the constituents she serves, she understands the need for reappropriation for fairness among board members.

“I hope they feel like I’ve served them well over the past seven years, but I hate losing voters, that means I have to give up on people and that makes me sad,” he said. she declared.

It is important to note that the redistribution does not affect the areas of school attendance and will not affect the students attending the schools.

The School District Growth Management Department is working with the Hillsborough County Geographic Information System (GIS) team to help provide the school board with maps to consider for the reallocation of single member districts.

“The mapping criteria that we are asking the county to incorporate include community integrity (keeping neighborhoods together), population, maintaining minority demographic balance, and ethnic distribution,” Superintendent Addison said. Davis.

The district will hold several Community Connection meetings to inform constituents about the new five-year strategic plan, discuss the academic state of the district, and identify areas in which to improve its practice. Additionally, district staff will discuss the school board redistribution, allow the public to review proposed maps, and gather community feedback.

The District 3 meeting will be held at Lennard High School, located at 2342 E. Shell Point Rd. In Ruskin, on Wednesday, November 27. The District 4 meeting will be held at Durant High School, located at 4748 Cougar Path in Plant City, on Monday, November 29.

Meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. with a discussion of the strategic plan, district vision and question-and-answer session followed at 7:00 p.m. by a discussion of the school board’s redistribution and question-and-answer session.

In addition to face-to-face meetings, the maps will also be posted on the district’s website and will allow for feedback or online commentary.

For more information on the redistribution or to provide your comments, please visit www.hillsboroughschools.org and look under “District News”.

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