Parents share mixed reactions to redistricting in Brunswick County


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Redistricting talks continued Tuesday night with newly hired consultants nearly seven months after the Brunswick County School Board decided to hit the brakes on elementary school redistricting.

Most parents seemed to agree that school redistricting is necessary.

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“Most of the elementary schools in the county are somewhere around 400 to 500 students,” Belville Elementary parent Ryan Merrill said. “Belville currently has 800 plus students.”

However, the way redistricting maps are drawn is where things get controversial.

Parents spoke out back in March after the school board discussed taking roughly 150 students from Belville Elementary to Town Creek Elementary.

“A 90-minute commute for my son weekly,” Belville Elementary parent Morgan Mattox said back in March, “would turn into a 10-hour commute weekly to Town Creek Elementary.”

After putting plans on hold nearly seven months ago, the board announced last month that it had hired consultants to continue the redistricting process. On Tuesday, those consultants spoke to parents, easing concerns for some.

“The Brunswick County School Board has done exactly what we as the county asked them to do,” Belville Elementary parent Cameron Hankins said, “go back and give us more information, more transparency.”

However, not everyone is convinced. Some parents worry the school board is rushing the first phase, which includes adjusting elementary school boundaries to cut down on overcrowding at Belville, and establishing a new boundary for Town Creek Middle School, which will open fall 2020.

“The time frame is a little concerning,” Brunswick County Schools parent Nicole Whiteside said. “The next meting is set for November, which a few of us have been talking tonight is about 20 working days. So, that will be a quick turnaround to get the public maps.”

Several members of the school board were sitting among parents at the meeting.

The next meeting will be held November 18th when parents can give their input on map drafts the consultants have created.

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