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Dade School Board Redraws Districts, Hantman & Feldman To Lead

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade County School Board has voted to keep Perla Tabares Hantman as chairwoman for the 2011-12 school year. It will be her fifth term as Chair.

Ms. Hantman was originally elected to the School Board in 1996 to represent District 4. She was the first Hispanic woman to serve as Chair and was elected by her peers for three consecutive terms in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman was elected for the second time as Vice Chair. Dr. Feldman, who represents District 9, was elected to the School Board in 2008.

The Board also remapped some districts which will mean thousands of Miami-Dade residents will vote in different districts when the next round of School Board seats go on the ballot next August.

The new map was approved by the board in a 8-1 vote.

According to CBS News partner The Miami Herald, board member Marta Pérez waged a losing battle against major changes to her area, District 8, which will expand westward but lose a southeast corner and shift several school feeder patterns. Meanwhile, board member Carlos Curbelo will have Killian Senior High in District 7 – but not his former political opponent, Libby Perez.

Among other, less controversial changes: a northern sliver of District 6 near the Miami River will move to District 2; District 2 will pick up a part of Hialeah; and District 9, which covers a large southeast swath of the county, will lose about 40,000 residents.

The remapping, like the redrawing of legislative and congressional seats, is triggered by population changes. The School Board’s nine districts must be evenly apportioned.

In redrawing their own districts, the School Board has to follow several guidelines, starting with the rule known as “one person, one vote.” That means each district should have roughly the same number of residents so that everyone’s vote carries the same weight. Another guideline is that the new boundaries can’t draw a sitting board member out of his or her district.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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