The Jefferson County Board of Education has approved new school board division boundaries to align with new voter precincts and respond to population changes revealed by the 2020 U.S. Census.
The board voted unanimously to approve the new boundaries, without any of the turmoil that accompanies redistricting for Kentucky’s general assembly or representatives in Congress.
The new boundaries will be in place for the 2022 school board elections, when voters will cast ballots in Districts 1, 3, 5 and 6.
Below are the most recent boundaries:
And here are the boundaries members approved Tuesday:
The new maps shrink District 7 to account for significant population shift to southeast Jefferson County. State law requires school boards to balance the number of voters in each district as much as possible. Data analysis revealed District 7 had 22,642 more voters than District 1, the least populous district.
District 7, represented by Sarah Cole McIntosh, lost neighborhoods to Districts 2, 3, 5 and 6. The new maps move Watterson Elementary school to District 2, represented by Chris Kolb.
District staff who created the new maps said they tried to avoid moving schools between districts, but the population shifts meant some changes would be unavoidable.
“It’s not personal,” McIntosh said, acknowledging the loss of Watterson Elementary. “It’s maps.”
District 1 in the West End and downtown areas showed significant population loss since 2010. Board Chair Diane Porter, who represents District 1, speculated that population loss may be due to COVID-19. The majority-Black and low-income section of town suffered a disproportionate number of COVID-related deaths.
The new map expands District 1 east past Zorn Avenue to capture voters in Mockingbird Valley and Indian Hills that were previously in District 2. District 1 also expands southwest to gain voters along the Ohio river northwest of Shively, who were previously in District 4.
District 4, represented by Joe Marshall, saw some population loss and gained neighborhoods in the southwestern tip of the county.
District 6, represented by Corrie Shull, saw population gain since 2010. As a result, it lost neighborhoods surrounding the Muhammad Ali International Airport to lesser-populated District 5, which is represented by longtime board member Linda Duncan.
District 3, represented by James Craig, had a relatively stable population over the last 10 years, and experienced the fewest changes under the new maps.
The new maps put approximately 111,000 voters in each district.