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FCPS To Use Demographics Program in School Redistricting

Fayette County Public schools is continuing its discussion on redistricting, and it now has some new tools to help make those decisions. 

The school zoning committee met Tuesday evening to consider how to redraw Fayette County’s elementary, middle, and high school districts.  The goal of the process is to increase diversity as well as deal with overcrowding.   At the meeting, they were introduced to a mapping program by Davis Demographics, a company that specializes in analyzing student data for redistricting. By mapping where students live and tracking statistics like family socioeconomic status and whether pupils get free or reduced price lunches,  Committee Chair Mary Wright says the program can show how district changes affect a school’s population.

“The folks who are on the committee can say “what would happen if we moved this area to a different school, or to the new school?” and we’ll immediately see what the impact would be on the other schools.”

While the goal is to redistrict every public school, Wright says they’ll start with high schools, both because they plan on building a new one, and because, in the committee’s opinion, it’s easier to start with 5 high schools rather than 36 elementary schools. 

“We’re beginning with the high schools, looking at the impact of building a new high school.  We agreed that next we would move to elementary schools and see how that aligns with middle and then probably come back and tweak the high schools after we’ve had all that discussion.”

The program will be used to generate maps and data live in future meetings.  According to Wright, this will help committee members make more informed decisions.  

The next zoning committee meeting takes place on October 9th at the FCPS Offices on 701 East Main Street.  A form to leave comments, questions and other feedback on the redistricting process at its website.

Chase Cavanaugh first got on the air as a volunteer reader for Central Kentucky Radio Eye, a local news service for the visually impaired. He began reporting for WUKY in February 2012, after receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.