Redistricting committee to meet in August

Tue, 07/03/2007 - 3:56pm
By: John Thompson

The committee that will decide Fayette County elementary school boundaries for the 2008-2009 school year is having a busy summer so far.

According to a letter sent to the committee by Assistant Superintendent Sam Sweat, the system is currently working on an audit of all school facilities. The audit will show the true capacity of each school, and also show how many classrooms are being used for various “pull-out” programs, such as special education.

“Examples of items contained in the audit are the allotment sheet for certified/classified staff, floor plan, number of instructional units being used at each facility, number of mobile classrooms being used/not used by facility and the state of Georgia five-year facility plan data,” Sweat wrote.

Sweat said the school system’s consultant for the redistricting process, Kelley Carey, is currently working on the future five-year projections for each elementary school. He added that Carey should have the projections completed by the end of this month.

The next meeting of the redistricting committee is slated for August, and school officials hope to complete the redistricting process by the end of the year.

On May 14, the committee met with the consulting firm of Associated Planning and Research, Inc. and mapped out the procedure as the school system looks to create new boundaries for the county’s elementary schools by Nov. 1.

Sweat also clarified the consultant’s pay, which had come under fire, by placing a note on the school system’s website.

“The school system took its first step toward this goal in March when a planning consultant conducted an intensive workshop educating school officials on the steps involved in developing a comprehensive redistricting plan, including ways to involve the public, the types of data involved and how to assemble and use the data. The cost of the workshop was a one-time $5,000 fee.

“Using information learned at the workshop, school system officials will conduct all data collection, analysis and disaggregating of information needed to develop the plan.

“Associated Planning and Research, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in comprehensive programs, demographics and facilities planning, will advise officials as they proceed.

“Hourly rates are $175 for the principal planner with over 30 years of experience working with school districts, states and the Department of Justice, and $110 for the senior demographics planner who will assist the school system in setting up demographic mapping and developing alternative plans for the process,” reads the addendum on the school system’s website.

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