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Thu June 19, 2008
Election Board Redraws School Board Lines
By Dan Verbeck
Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners redraws boundaries for school board member districts and there is immediate talk of a lawsuit.
The four member election board listened to 30 minutes testimony: concerns from within the Latino community that proposals might dilute the Hispanic vote, others who say tentative maps dilute the African American vote and still others who want more hearings. Consultants labored over a succession of re-draws, occasioned by deannexing of some schools in Indepedence and Sugar Creek. When the board voted unanimously for the 6th plan from a field of six, college economics professor Linwood Tauheed suggested a lawsuit against it. As he put it:
' what these commissioners have done is they have voted on a map which increases the probability that African Americans will lose representation on the Kansas city school board and they did that without having to do that '
With some 30 people attending, many of whom spoke for or against district boundary plans, not one mentioned the so called 'unity' plan which would have disregarded race or class in the arrangement of subdistricts from which individual school board members will be elected in 2010.
The redistricting is a one-time proposition to be used only o in that election.