08/16/17 — Board to talk school districts

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Board to talk school districts

By Joey Pitchford
Published in News on August 16, 2017 5:50 AM

The Wayne County Board of Education will discuss strategies for redistricting at a special called session Thursday, as Wayne County Public Schools prepares to dive in to the details of redrawing district lines.

The meeting is set to begin around 11 a.m. in the executive board room of the WCPS central office at 2001 Royall Ave.

It will include "policies and procedures to populate WCPS" according to a preliminary agenda sent out by the school system.

David Lewis, a WCPS assistant superintendent, said that this item refers to more detailed redistricting policies than the board has worked with before.

"The main goal here is come out with a more clear timeline and clear set of tasks and activities for us to accomplish," he said.

If the board can come away with defined goals, he said, that will go a long way toward getting the redistricting process moving.

Since the board voted to begin work on redistricting at a special called session in mid-July, board action has mostly revolved around deciding the right way to proceed.

After board member Len Henderson first proposed the idea of a special redistricting subcommittee at another called session July 26, the board voted to create that committee Aug. 8.

Chairman Arnold Flowers appointed three board members to the committee the following day, but the committee has yet to meet. The committee members are Rick Pridgen, Jennifer Strickland and Raymond Smith Jr.

Lewis said that he does not think the committee and the Thursday meeting "have anything to do with each other," and has not heard anything from the committee yet. He said that this week's meeting is in place of the board's regularly-scheduled monthly work session, and is only considered a special called session because the board must take action.

This meeting will mark the first time that the kind of specific benchmarks Lewis mentioned will come before the board. Lewis said that the information to be presented is still being developed, so he could not offer specifics on what those intermediate goals might be.