The Wake County school board will formally discuss the potentially contentious issue of redistricting at today's meeting.
In a last-minute addition to the agenda, school board member Kevin Hill says he's asking the board to discuss a resolution on providing a "transparent" process for drawing up the new boundaries to be used for the nine school board districts. Hill said he asked for it to be discussed because the school system needs to begin work on redistricting soon.
One question could be who is tasked with drawing up the new boundaries that would be voted on by the board.
Hill said he'd likely ask that Tharrington Smith, the board's longtime legal firm, be tasked with the job. Tharrington Smith worked with attorney Michael Crowell, who has since retired, in drawing up the current boundaries in 2001.
School board member John Tedesco said he's probably be comfortable using Tharrington Smith or Kieran Shanahan's law firm to draw up the districts. Today's agenda includes allowing the board to pay Shanahan up to another $25,000 in legal fees.
Tedesco said that attorney Thomas Farr will be too busy helping draw up the boundaries for the General Assembly to work on Wake's school board districts.
Another question is whether the board will do what it did in 2001 and draw up boundaries that don't force current members to be in the same district.
There will be a lot of scrutiny with the new boundaries considering the current climate in Wake. The new boundaries, barring a potential lawsuit and rejection by the U.S. Justice Department, would be used this fall when five of the nine board seats are on the ballot.
The filing period is supposed to start in July. Candidates will want to know which districts they'll be in before announcing.
Supporters of the old diversity policy, such as Cash Michaels in this recent blog post, think the GOP school board majority will draw up districts that will most hurt Democrats.