Education

HISD Thinks $1.25 Million Will Cover the Costs of Dumping Confederacy Names

Well, the Houston ISD administration has finally revealed its more complete estimate of what the renaming of schools will cost the cash-strapped district: a bit more than $1.25 million. And school board members are expected to approve those costs at their Thursday night meeting.

Despite pleas from many – though not all – constituents that the board not change the names of schools that memorialized anyone associated with the Confederacy, the trustees voted to do just that in votes in February, March and May board meetings.

Even though board policy requires that associated expenditures be listed on any item being approved, no money amount was included in any of the proposals as they were voted upon. Critics jumped upon this apparent breach of policy and, in fact, a group of parents used it as a major point in the lawsuit it filed against the district over the changes.

The good news – even if it might just be temporary – is that $1.25 million is a lot less than the $2 million estimate an HISD spokeswoman had provided in June. 

The money will be used to pay for athletic, band and ROTC uniforms with the new names on them. It will go to facility updates and temporary banners at two of the schools that are due for more major redos as part of the 2012 bond election.

Schools involved include: Lawson Middle School (formerly Dowling), Tanglewood Middle School (formerly Grady), Navarros Middle School of Excellence (used to be Jackson), Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School (was Johnston), Bob Lanier Middle School (used to be Sidney Lanier), Wisdom High (was Lee) and Heights High (used to be John Reagan).

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing