Voters in Lee County, Florida, passed a referendum in 2014 to expand the school board from five to seven members and move away from all at-large elections in favor of a hybrid system where five of the board members would be elected from districts. The change was intended to diversify the school board, which has been all white since its inception more than 120 years ago yet oversees a rapidly growing public school system in which more than 55 percent of students are minorities.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice has partnered with the Lee County NAACP to present a redistricting plan that is fairer and more representative of the communities that the school board serves. This plan was presented to the school board on February 21. The school board has decided to look into the cost and next steps for pursuing the proposal.
NBC2 out of Ft. Myers covered the meeting and the community’s desire to have fairer representation on the school board.
The News-Press also covered the meeting and community support for the redistricting plan. Click here read their story on the News-Press website.
And Mr. James Muwakkil, President of the Lee County NAACP, submitted an op-ed that ran in the News-Press just days before the presentation. That op-ed can be found by clicking here.