4/17/2013 6:00:00 AM Redistricting plan gains approval
By STEVEN THOMAS Staff Reporter
A redistricting plan for the Neshoba County School District has been granted pre-clearance by the Justice Department and officially adopted by the School Board.
The plan and accompanying map were compiled by the Stennis Institute at Mississippi State University in the wake of the 2010 census.
The county school districts vary slightly from supervisory districts and are utilized mostly during School Board elections.
Under the new plan, all incumbent School Board members remain in their current districts.
The new map reflects changes in each of the five districts, particularly one and five.
Census results show that the county school districts currently have a deviation of 99.29 percent from the ideal population, which makes redistricting necessary under the "one man, one vote" section of the Voting Rights Act.
Normally there is an accepted deviation of around 10 percent.
The ideal population for each school district in Neshoba County is 4,230 under the 2010 Census.
Districts 1 and 2 were over the ideal population while 3 through 5 were under.
District 1 had a population of 6,735, which was 2,505 over the ideal population while District 2's population was 4,830 or 600 over.
District 3's population was 3,131 or 1,099 less. District 4's was 3,919 or 311 less; and District 5's was 2,535 or 1,695 less.
Districts 1, 2 and 3 each had less than 10 percent black voting age population.
District 5 had the highest black voting age population at 37.47 percent, the census showed.
District 1 had the highest Native American voting age population at 51.75 percent.
Under the new map, Districts 2, 3 and 4 are slightly over the ideal population while 1 and 5 are under.
The new District 2 has a population of 4,345, which is 115 over the ideal population; District 3's is 4,286 or 56 over, while District 4's population is 4, 335 or 105 over.
District 1's population is 4,154 or 76 less; and District 5's is 4,030 or 200 less.
Districts 1 and 3 still have less than 10 percent black voting age population, while District 5 had the highest black voting age population at 19.10 percent, followed by District 4 with 18.77 percent and District 2 with 15.16.
District 1 has the highest Native American voting age population at 48.43 percent, followed by District 5 with 19.47 percent.
The approved plan was chosen because it had the lowest deviation from the ideal population over others considered by the School Board.
Board President Jewell Parks of District 5 said that while the map is now in effect it would not be an issue until the next School Board election in 2014.
The school district had previously attempted to redistrict a few years ago based on the 2000 census results. The redistricting fell through at that time as the board could not agree on a configuration of the districts.
Members of the school board are:
Alisa Burkes, District 1; Davis Fulton, District 2; Shan Winstead, District 3; Johnny Crenshaw, District 4; and Parks, District 5.