Union Co schools may have to deal with redistricting again in 7 - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Union Co schools may have to deal with redistricting again in 7 years

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UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Union County Public school leaders say they may have to tackle redistricting again in about seven years. Union county leaders are stepping in to try to ease the drama associated with shuffling students to different schools.

Brian Matthews is the Executive Director of Growth Management in Union County. He wants to come up with a better way to handle growth. Union County has 14 municipalities and Matthews explains why that can be challenging.

"The county has no authority," Matthews said. "To manage growth inside the municipal limits."

This means towns in Union County can approve building permits at any time. That type of method can be a burden to the county when it comes to building schools to accommodate growth.

"The cost of schools is really not a cost that municipalities bear," Matthews said. "So that's not something they take into consideration when they are doing their planning for development and growth in their own jurisdictions."

Matthews wants to get all those towns on the same page and at the table so the county will be prepared to handle growth in the schools.

"We don't want to stop growth," Matthews said. "Growth by itself is not bad. It's unmanaged growth we have issues with."

Ehran Hutchins has three kids. She moved from Charlotte so her kids could attend Union County public schools. She believes all municipalities should be on the same page when it comes to dealing with growth. She is surprised at the lack of communication between the county and municipalities.

"It's very confusing," the mother said. "Because I don't understand how that will actually be successful in the long run."

Union County leaders say building homes is picking back up. They say it will never reach the nearly 4,000 building permits granted back in 2004, but the present growth is enough to cause problems. Last year nearly 1800 building permits for single family homes were granted.

"They need to focus on figuring out," Hutchins said. "How to make more schools and make it more beneficial for everybody involved."

Trying to get municipalities on the same page was tried before, but talks failed. Matthews would like to get things started with the municipalities sometime in March.

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