Gwinnett Board of Education members formally unveiled and discussed Thursday (Feb. 9) the new districts that the five school board members now represent as a result of changes approved by the federal government.
Because of figures in the 2010 U.S. Census, the Georgia General Assembly redrew the old districts to reflect population changes. The changes are now in effect (see map).
Supt. Alvin Wilbanks, speaking at the monthly board meeting in Suwanee, noted that it's "not an educational map, it's a political map. If the Democrats are in power, it's the Democrats who do the drawing." The map was influenced by the Republican majority in the state legislature.
District III board member Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, whose district includes Duluth Cluster schools and several Suwanee and Sugar Hill schools, pointed out that this is "not redistricting." No students in the Gwinnett system change schools.
Murphy now represents Peachtree Ridge High and North Gwinnett High plus some other schools in the North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge clusters.
Daniel Seckinger, the District II board representative, will continue to represent Collins Hill High and nearby Lanier High in Sugar Hill.
To see which schools fall into the new districts, click on and enlarge the map.
Board Chairman Louise Radloff commented that Nesbit Elementary in Tucker is represented by Dr. Robert McClure, yet most of the students that attend there live in her district. "We (the board members) represent all children, and we always have."
In other developments Thursday:
- NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND WAIVER: Wilbanks noted that the waiver granted to Georgia schools Thursday will go into effect immediately for Adequate Yearly Progress and will take effect next school year for most programs. Gwinnett and state officials still have to develop a replacement plan with different metrics.
- FISCAL YEAR 2013 BUDGET: Gwinnett officials still are facing a large revenue shortfall as planning for the 2013 fiscal year nears an end. Wilbanks placed the figure at $89 million. As for possible layoffs, the superintendent said: "We're hoping not to get into that."