Houston School Board Approves Renaming Of District Schools, Slammed For Hefty Multi-Million Dollar BudgetBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
The Houston school board has approved a $1.2 million budget for the renaming of eight schools named after Confederate loyalists. The move has gained backlash from taxpayers in the community.
KPRC Houston reported that the Houston Independent School District (HISD) held a board meeting on Thursday to decide on the cost to change the names of schools with ties to the Confederate. The approved changes were estimated to cost around $1.2 million.
It was slammed by parents and taxpayers who believe that the money would be better off spent on books, school supplies and the re-hiring of special education employees. A group of concerned parents even filed a lawsuit against the Houston school board with the hopes that the renaming of the schools would be stopped since it was illegal.
The district has maintained its confidence that the estimates provided in the past and future do not have an impact on the validity of the boards actions. The new names will take effect this school year.
The schools and their new names are: Johnston Middle School to Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School; Sidney Lanier Middle School to Bob Lanier Middle School; Lee High School to Margaret Long Wisdom High School; Reagan High School to Heights High School; Jackson Middle School to Yolanda Black Navarro Middle School of Excellence; Dowling Middle School to Audrey H. Lawson Middle School; and Davis High School to Northside High School.
"By their nature, the costs associated with renaming the schools are not known precisely when the decisions were made," HISD said in a statement. "These are refined over time and HISD administration has presented updated information since before it was served with the lawsuit and will continue to do so in the future."
According to Chron, the renaming stemmed from the Jun. 2015 shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., where the Confederate flag hung at the statehouse at the time. The deaths prompted the nation to remove symbols of the Confederacy.