Trustees discuss moving forward - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Trustees discuss moving forward

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The Beaumont Independent School District will take another shot at creating a five single member, two at large scheme for redistricting.

The school district's attorney said during a special meeting Thursday the Department of Justice rejected the 5-2 board membership make-up, not an actual redistricting map. 

Trustees agreed by a vote of 5-2 to have Attorney Melody Chappell consult with the D.O.J. about the ruling.

The D.O.J. said in a letter that no to the scheme because it does not give minorities as much representation as the current seven single member district plan.

Chappell also said the D.O.J. has never changed a school district from a seven single member plan to a 5-2. 

"The issue is can we go from what's seen as the perfect voting rights system a single member district 7-0 to an at large system where minorities don't typically vote as much as the majority population," Chappell said.

Trustee Zenobia Bush said the law has spoken and the board should move on but Trustee Mike Niel said he believes the rejection was made due to opinion, not a law. 

Chappell hopes to consult with the D.O.J. and bring her findings to next Thursday's board meeting.

The board also approved the drawing of a new seven single member district map as a back up.


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