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Court sets hearing date for new boundaries in Easton school voting districts

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Dec 07 2012 07:58:18 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 07 2012 08:45:37 PM CST
EASTON, Pa. -

A request to modify three geographic voting regions in the Easton Area School District will be heard in Northampton County Court next month.

The Court of Common Pleas issued a "show cause" rule on Friday and scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. Jan. 11 in courtroom 1.

The district is asking the court to approve new boundaries for the three regions because of population shifts since 1970, when the boundaries were last changed, and the impending loss of Riegelsville, Bucks County, which will become an independent school district on July 1, 2013.

The school board, which approved the changes at its meeting Wednesday night, wants the new boundaries in place for next year's municipal primary elections.

Each geographic region elects three members of the school board.

If the court backs the redrawn boundaries, District I will be made up of Palmer Township. District II will include all of Easton except the 3rd Ward in the northeast part of the city. The 3rd Ward will be in District III, along with Forks and Lower Mount Bethel townships.

Currently, District I includes all of Palmer Township and the western district of Easton's 8th Ward. District II now includes Easton's 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th wards. Easton's 3rd, 6th and 7th wards and Forks and Lower Mount Bethel township now make up District III.

State law says the voting districts should have no more than a 10 percent difference in population.

If no changes were made to the boundaries, District I would represent 36 percent of school district residents; District II 20 percent, and District III 44 percent.

With the changes, District I would represent about 32 percent of school district residents; District II 33 percent, and District III about 34 percent.