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Belton ISD approve redistricting plan due to population changes

The changes will balance balance populations changes that were seen in the 2020 U.S. Census.

BELTON, Texas — Belton ISD trustees approved a new redistricting plan Monday, according to district officials.  

The changes will balance balance populations changes that were seen in the 2020 U.S. Census. 

Per officials, the plan was presented by Mark Morrison, a Baylor Law School professor emeritus and expert on redistricting, during a public hearing at a special board meeting.

According to Morrison, Belton ISD District 2, 3, 4 and 5 had become imbalanced due to significant growth in the past decade. But under the new plan, District 3 will be balanced by adding population from District 2. And District 2 is replenished by extending into District 4 and 5, which both needed to be reduced.

Redistricting is the process of redrawing the lines of districts from which public officials are elected based on population changes over the past decade — is intended to ensure that district boundaries accurately reflect changes in population and racial diversity.

In the 10 years since the last census, Belton ISD’s population has grown by more than 18,000 people, or 40.2%. 

“The previous school board and district administrators prepared for fast growth. The last five years, however, show an acceleration of growth,” said Dr. Matt Smith, superintendent. “Such an acceleration obviously impacts our trustee districts, which is why an adjustment was needed.”

Based on numbers of students added in the last five years, Belton ISD is the fastest growing Region 12 school district and the 28th fastest growing district in Texas.

By comparison, Bell County’s total population has increased by 19.5% from 310,235 to 370,647.

“Belton ISD is growing at double the rate of the county as a whole,” Smith said. “It’s a good problem to have, but we’re facing some decisions in the near future to make sure we are able to continue providing exceptional learning experiences for each and every student we serve in the Big Red Community.”