AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District says it will change the names of all the schools in the district with ties to the Confederacy, with a goal of finalizing new names by next August. The cost to make the switch is estimated to be about $322,000.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz is set to present during a discussion on the school name changes Monday night at the AISD board work session. District policy states that a name should be removed from facilities if it is “not in compliance with the District’s core beliefs and values.”
There are five schools or facilities that are named for those with ties to the Confederacy:
- John T. Allan Facility, named for a Confederate Army officer who was also a lawyer, justice of the peace and state treasurer
- Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, named for a Confederate army private and Travis County judge
- Sidney Lanier Early College High School, named for a man who joined the Macon Volunteers who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War and later became a poet
- John H. Reagan Early College High School, named for the Confederate postmaster general who before the Civil War was a U.S. Congressman and served as a Texas judge and in the state legislature
- Eastside Memorial Early College High School at the Johnston Campus, named for Confederate General Albert S. Johnston
In March 2016, AISD voted to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School to Russell Lee Elementary School.
The AISD administration has met with principals and other stakeholders about the school names. It says it costs about $13,800 to change the name of an elementary school and about $77,000 to change the name of a secondary school. Those costs include changing signs and banners, gym floors, uniforms and stationery, among other expenses.
The AISD board must approve all school name changes.