New Hanover school board member proposes new redistricting plan

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County School Board held a meeting Thursday night, and on the agenda was the controversial topic of redistricting.

Historically, democrats in the county have supported diversifying the student population through busing, while republicans have supported neighborhood schools. Three more democratic members were voted onto the school board back in November.

​By the 2019-2020 school year, more than 1,000 middle and high school students in New Hanover County will need to move because of overcrowding.

There have been four different scenarios proposed in the past, none of which were received well by the public.

Thursday night, school board member David Wortman announced a new proposal he came up with, one he says would limit the amount of students forced to change schools.

“We’ve been hearing from a lot of parents, and they didn’t want their kids moved. So I tried to think outside of the box, and look at something that would be pretty cool for our community, having an arts high school like this,” said Wortman.

Under Wortman’s proposed plan, Williston Middle School would become a high school focused on the arts, and those middle school students would be moved to Holly Shelter and Roland Grise.

“[Art schools are] prevalent throughout the state, they’re extremely successful throughout the state. And it really brings Williston kind of into the spotlight again,” said Wortman.

Wortman says only around 300 students would be moved, compared to around 600 under the other proposal.

The principal of Williston Middle School and other educators were in attendance at Thursday night’s meeting, and said they would need time to process before making any comment.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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