FARMINGTON — The Central Consolidated School District approved a new school board district map at a special meeting Thursday evening that will reflect the growth in the Kirtland area over the past decade.

"We've had a lot of shifts from the reservation to off the reservation," said Matthew Tso, president of the CCSD Board of Education.

The map was approved by a vote of 4-0, with board member Randy Manning absent.

"We went with a map that was to the liking of every board member," Tso said, noting that the population shifts are not drastic and likely will not greatly affect February's board elections.

"Most of the supporters that the district members have will stay in their district," said district Superintendent Don Levinski.

CCSD by law must redraw its lines, as must every other political district in the nation, following the United States census results that are released every decade.

The lines are redrawn to help balance out the number of people, but also the kind of people who reside in a district, taking into account population changes in the past 10 years.

By federal law, the areas within a school district, also known as districts, must have a close to equivalent number of residents. CCSD has five separate districts, all of which will have about 6,600 people in them after the new district map goes into effect in 2013. The population per district can vary by 330 residents.

Currently, District 1, which includes the northern Kirtland area, is overpopulated by about 1,000 people because of population growth.


District 4, which includes the southern portion, also was slightly overpopulated.

Both districts have the lowest number of Native American residents, who, in most districts, make up more than 90 percent of the population, according to Research and Polling Inc., the Albuquerque-based company that created the district map.

In District 1, Native Americans make up slightly half of the population, and in District 4, about 74 percent.

Both will shrink slightly, putting more people in Districts 2 and 5. District 2 includes the northwest corner of the state, including parts of Shiprock.

Though District 2 will change little in population, it will lose some land area, which will be gained by District 3.

District 5 will gain the most land area, absorbing the southern half of what currently is District 4, including Burnham.

"(District 4) is a really awkward district," Tso said, referring to the district's current oddly drawn boundaries.

When drawing district lines, districts are asked to keep the populations condensed, but also to protect minority voting rights by ensuring that their numbers are not diluted.

Because the district's population is 85 percent Navajo, the state required the district to speak with the Navajo Human Rights Commission about its proposed maps, of which there were eight initially.

The board narrowed the eight to two last month before also speaking with members of the Navajo Health and Human Services Education Committee.

The extra hoops the school board had to take to approve the voting maps because the district overlaps tribal land left board member Manning disgruntled.

"It doesn't matter what I think," he said before the meeting Thursday. "The governor gave the Navajo Human Rights Commission the ability to control the district."

While other local districts struggled to balance the distribution of low-income populations, Tso said it was not an issue for CCSD since most of the district's residents are below the poverty line.

The new map will go into effect in January 2013, just before the CCSD Board of Education elections in February.