North East ISD is revamping its new single-member district boundaries to ensure population balance within each of the seven districts.
The NEISD school board voted unanimously Dec. 13 to adopt what district officials called Proposal B, one of two maps the district produced as a result of 2020 census.
Many state and local governments nationwide are undergoing redistricting using community population and demographic counts released by the U.S. Census Bureau in the past year.
Texas law permits a public school district to redivide districts if census data indicates the population of the most populous single-member district exceeds the population of the least single-member district by more than 10%.
In a memo to trustees, NEISD staff reported a 25.5% deviation between the most and least populated single-member districts.
“That may sound like a lot; it sounds like a big percentage; and it is,” said Deb Caldwell, NEISD executive director of external relations, to board members. “But I think it’s important to note that in that 10-year time, we grew by only about 41,000 residents,” Caldwell said, referencing the 2010 census.
The school board in October initiated a redistricting process that included community input, prompting the creation of two proposed redistricted maps.
The final Map B that trustees approved has 6.9% population deviation among the seven single-member districts, whereas Map A had an 8.2% deviation.
“The vast majority of our voting population will vote in the same single-member district as they did in the past,” Caldwell said.
In Map B, District 7 has the biggest population at 64,517. District 7 covers neighborhoods inside Loop 1604 and east of US 281.
District 5 is the least populous district with 60,261 residents. District 5 contains neighborhoods east of US 281, and both inside and outside Loop 1604.
“It helps to explain why some single-member districts on redistricted maps—geographically, some look bigger than others because it’s where the concentration of residents live,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell said any criticism of redistricting mainly came from some residents who wanted a third option.
Board Member Steve Hilliard supported Map A
“The [Map A] line seemed cleaner to me,” Hilliard said. “Map B seemed to have more jaggedness to it.”
Trustee Terri Williams supported Map B, saying it had less deviation and more support from survey participants.
“Proposal B seems to account for that and has a clean line along I-35.” Williams said.