BY KARISSA MILLER
The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education held a special meeting Wednesday afternoon to work on redrawing boundaries for the school board’s electoral districts.
The board met at the beginning of September and by consensus asked an attorney group that specializes in redistricting projects to create new maps using a clean slate approach. The board is required to create new district maps every 10 years following the U.S. Census.
Voting districts in North Carolina are based on the “one person/one vote” principle that means each ward or district must be nearly equal in population.
According to 2020 Census data, the northern end of the county, or District 1, has lost 16.07 percent of its population, while the fast-developing Troutman area has grown by 27.10 percent.
The redistricting does not impact where any child goes to school.
During Wednesday’s meeting, the board was presented three options. The board voted to eliminate the Alternative 1 map from consideration. Board members did not like Alternative 1 because it split up Statesville into three districts. They also didn’t agree with splitting up northern Iredell into east and west populations.
Two remaining options, Alternative 2 and Alternative 3, will be available online for the public to view on the I-SS website.
The public is encouraged to weigh in on which option they prefer during a public hearing on October 4 at 5 p.m. The meeting will take place at Career Academy and Technical School, located at 350 Old Murdock Road in Troutman. Those who wish to address the board can sign up starting 30 minutes prior to the meeting.
This public hearing is being held for those wishing to speak regarding the proposed redistricting of the electoral districts for the Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education. Regular public comment will be held at the board’s meeting on October 11.
• Alternative 2 sandwiches Mooresville Graded School District between two I-SS districts 5 and 6.
• The other Lake Norman district, 7, is given some room for expected growth.
• It keeps northern Iredell together in District 1.
• Alternative 2 has Statesville in two districts rather than three, although it splits a precinct just west of Statesville.
• Alternative 3 also prioritizes precinct integrity. It splits only 2 precincts, if you don’t count MGSD. Alternative 3 also essentially sandwiches MGSD between two precincts.
• Alternative 3 does not put the southern Iredell districts, 5, 6, and 7, in the lower range of deviation
• Alternative 3 keeps northern Iredell together without splitting precincts.
• Alternative 3 has Statesville in three districts instead of two, but it leaves District 3, the northern part of Statesville, intact as it is in the current map.
“You got to give and take,” I-SS Board Chairman Martin Page said. “The districts have been manipulated over the years to try and stay in tack. You keep repairing your car and repairing your car until eventually you have to buy a new car.”
The boundaries can be modified and tweaked by the board so that some communities are not split up.