Back to School ... Redistricting, That Is

DISDRedistrictingMap.JPG
Click to embiggen one of the DISD maps on the table, or just go here to see all of them.
And speaking of redistricting ...

The Dallas Independent School District will begin holding hearings tonight during which the public will finally get a long, hard look at the draft maps on the table, courtesy San Antonio attorney Rolando Rios (who Carla Ranger initially didn't want to hire) and the law firm of Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP (to whom Edwin Flores was initially opposed). Based on their report to the board last month, the attorneys found that total population grew from 1,006,872 in April 2000 to 1,020,846 by April 2010, an increase of around 1 percent. Says the report: "The ideal trustee district should now contain 113,427 persons (total population/9 districts)."

As it stands now Nancy Bingham's district is too big -- 12 percent and then some over what it oughta be. Meanwhile, Adam Medrano's is too small by close to 16 percent. Hence, the need to redraw the boundaries: The draft plans are available here.

Meetings kick off this evening at 6, at both Bryan Adams and Francisco "Pancho" Medrano Middle School; three more follow tomorrow; two more are on Monday; and the final one takes place August 4 at 3700 Ross.

And in vaguely related news: DeSoto ISD trustees will vote today whether or not to keep Kathy Augustine as its new superintendent, following revelations that the former deputy superintendent in Atlanta knew or sure as hell shoulda known about cheating there. If she's out, does this mean DISD board president Lew Blackburn, once a contender for that gig, is back in the mix?

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10 comments
Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Thursday night's meeting was the most calm, thoughtful and productive meeting I have EVER seen in DISD. Maybe the heat kept most of the obstructionists away, but for the ones who came, the LULAC reps had valid points about districts 5, 6, 7 and a couple of men from the Wilmer-Hutchins area did, too. I requested some minor changes in the drawing around Buckner Terrace and Hollywood Heights areas to make more sense.

For the SEVEN trustees who showed up, showed an interest and asked and listened, THANK YOU.

Apparently, Bingham and Flores were too busy to worry about a little old thing like voting rights or borderlines. In fact, maybe that is WHY the meeting went on so well, because they were NOT there. Something for their constituents to think about....

Bill Betzen
Bill Betzen

Dallas City Council Redistricting process is far superior to the one it appears DISD is stumbling into. The following is posted on my blog (http://dallasredistricting2011... about the significant differences between the DISD redistricting process and the Dallas City Council redistricting process:

1) There is minimal, if any, opportunity for the public to actually work with the maps and submit alternatives in the DISD process.2) Compactness is not given as a consideration, probably for many reasons not the least of which is that current DISD districts are not as gerrymandered as current Dallas City Council Districts.  Compactness measurements are not even mentioned on the DISD site.3) Depending of which of the eventual 20+ maps being considered that the City Council Redistricting Commission chooses, it is very possible, based on the four maps being considered by DISD, that the Dallas City Council will now surpass DISD in having the least gerrymandered districts!4) If Dallas City Council succeeds in securing the least gerrymandered districts, and DISD remains gerrymandered, it will be interesting to observe if voter turnout generally improves more in City Council elections than in DISD Board elections in the years to come.  (There may be people in Dallas dedicated to keeping voter turnout low and therefore keeping both these maps as gerrymandered as is possible. That is the battle that sometimes appears to be emerging.)

Common "Cents?"
Common "Cents?"

Maybe this is a stupid question, but, why doesn't the DISD maps mirror the City if Dallas Council District map?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I wish the DISD trustees would pay as much attention to running the school district as they do gerrymandering their own districts to protect themselves from removal.

Watching
Watching

city council has 14 districts.   DISD has 9.   Can never be the same.   DISD goes beyond Dallas city limits - particularly in the south.

Bill Betzen
Bill Betzen

DISD and Dallas City Council Districts must each have different population numbers to begin with: 85,558 for each one of 14 Dallas City Council Districts while the DISD target is 113,427 for each one of 9 districts.

Common "Cents?"
Common "Cents?"

. . .and YES, I understand that the Dallas City Council and DISD School Board are two separate entities.

StopDISD.org
StopDISD.org

Wylie H.  We totally agree with you DISD should focus on better education, better compensation for our teachers and preservation of historical schools.

This morning DISD stared demolishing the historical 102 year old O.M. Roberts elementary school even though $2.6 million dollars of taxpayer money were spent to renovate it and despite the many protests to save it.  They are abolishing this school and a neighborhood - piece by piece, brick by brick - all decisions made by DISD.   DISD's current actions only further serve to demonstrate how far removed DISD is with the wants and needs of it's community members, taxpayers and voters.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

One big reason is that the City of Dallas and DISD don't share common boundaries.  For example, part of Highland Park is in DISD; and part of the City of Dallas is in Richardson ISD; and so on...

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