Tue June 17, 2008
New Boundaries for KCMO School Subdistricts
By Susan B. Wilson
Kansas City, MO – On Thursday, the Kansas City Election Board will decide how to re-draw the boundary lines for the Kansas City Missouri school district. Redistricting won't change where children go to school. Rather, the new sub-districts could have a big impact on the next school board, which has six subdistrict members and three at-large.
Redistricting was necessary when voters chose to transfer seven schools located in Independence and Sugar Creek to the Independence district. And that made Kansas City's third subdistrict a lot smaller, in terms of population, than the other five.
Four plans are now being considered. Three are similar to the current map, and redraw most subdistrict boundaries vertically. One plan calls for horizontal subdistricts - spanning the boundary East and West of Troost, the historical dividing line between black and white communities in Kansas City. KCUR's Susan Wilson spoke to supporters of two different plans this week: first, at-large school board member Airick Leonard West, who's advocating for what he calls the "Unity Plan." UMKC economics professor Linwood Tauheed designed a more traditional version of the subdistrict map.