Written by By Tariq Malik, CNN
Georgia is home to the world’s longest highway and home to the oldest continuously running rock formation.
But these are not the reasons why young members of a Georgia school district are making national headlines.
This week the Greer County Board of Education voted to initiate legal action after a proposed redistricting plan would consolidate the school district’s three elementary schools in the county into two.
The proposed plan — which includes more busing — would cost $8.5 million over the next four years and send students in the two existing schools, their parents, and teachers into neighboring counties, according to CNN affiliate WXIA.
Hundreds of parents packed the Greer County Board of Education on Friday to protest the plan and Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order aimed at smoothing the way for the school district’s proposed plan.
Although Georgia is predominantly Republican, the state’s Republican-led General Assembly and Governor Deal have long clashed over the state’s gerrymandering policies. The state currently has the dubious distinction of having the worst rating for gerrymandering in the country, according to a recent survey by The Brennan Center at New York University School of Law.
Former Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation in 2011 that eroded residents’ voting rights — but a federal court overturned the law last year, ruling that the legislature violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause because of its disproportionate impact on African-Americans.
The debate over redistricting became part of a wider national conversation about minority voter turnout in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.
Last week, Georgia sued Arizona over its controversial voting law, citing issues such as a lack of voter preparation and intimidation.