Coweta BoE unveils proposed reapportionment map
It is no mystery that Coweta County has experienced significant population growth during the past decade. That growth, documented by the 2010 Census, results in the need to re-draw the population boundaries of the five electoral districts pertaining to the Coweta County Board of Education. The proposed map is now available at the school system’s website and is expected to be up for a vote by the school board on Oct. 11.
The need to re-draw the boundaries stems from the population shifts determined by the 2010 Census. The Coweta County Board of Education is comprised of seven representatives elected by the public, of which two are at-large members elected by voters within the county as a whole and five district members elected by voters within the school board’s five regional electoral districts.
The idea behind the reapportionment, said school system spokesperson Dean Jackson, is to bring the number of voters within the districts to approximately equal size, while also remaining within U.S. Dept. of Justice guidelines to avoid diluting the strength of minority voters, keeping districts as compact and contiguous as possible, and also respecting communities of interest within the districts.
The areas of Coweta experiencing the greatest population growth during the 2000-2010 period included Newnan and portions of east Coweta, thus necessitating that the districts in those geographical areas shrink somewhat in size to equalize the population. Those districts include Districts 1 and 4 and especially District 5.
“The five regional districts are the areas being changed to equalize population. This change will not affect school zones in any way, only which voters are able to vote for the particular regional school board seats,” Jackson said. ”As a county’s population grows, electoral districts tend to grow relatively out of proportion with one another over a period of time. Because of that, following the 10-year U.S. Census, local elected bodies, as well as state and federal legislatures, which are comprised of districts must reapportion political boundaries to equalize the number of voters within those districts.”
The proposed map can be viewed on the school system’s website at www.cowetaschools.org
Jackson said the school board agreed to place the map on the table for public consideration until its Oct. 11 meeting when a vote is expected. Once approved, the map will be forwarded to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
Members of the public wishing to comment on the map may send their comments to Dean Jackson, Public Information Officer for the Coweta County School System, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 770-254-2736 or by writing Dean Jackson, Coweta County School System, P.O. Box 280, Newnan, GA 30264.
The school board in re-drawing the map received assistance from the Georgia Reapportionment Services Office.