TPS board member concerned redistricting will affect schools' representation
Tulsa Public Schools' Board of Education met last week to discuss potential plans to address redistricting that one board member says could potentially affect representation on different TPS campuses.
According to the Oklahoma State School Board Association, state law requires certain school districts to redistrict in the year following the U.S. President’s receipt of Census data.
Because of the pandemic, the president did not receive that data until 2021.
The Indian Nations Council of Governments Executive Director Rich Brierre said his organization wasn't able to contract with TPS on redistricting until now.
Brierre said the law requires school board districts be as close to equal in population as possible with no more than a 10% variation between the largest and smallest districts.
"We're looking at the total population of the district, dividing that by the number of schoolboard member districts there are, to get a statistical average [to see] if everything would be exactly equal, and then we're calculating with each plan off of that," said.
The six new plans consider shifting at least seven different campuses to a different district.
Some of those changes include moving John Burroughs Elementary School from District3 to District 2, shifting Booker T. Washington High School from District 2 to District 3, and changing the location of the Unity Learning Academy from District 3 to District 2.
School board member Dr. Jennettie Marshall of District 3 said she's concerned shifting campuses out of their districts will alter representation of the schools and interrupt voting patterns.
"Even though we may not move a board member out of their district, electability is impacted," Marshall explained. "Representation for a community is greatly impacted."
Board members have posted the plans online for public comment.