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AISD to Vote on Confederate Name Changes

The Austin School District has five campuses named after members of the Confederacy, and the school board has decided to take a vote on whether or not those names should be changed.

At Monday's school board work session, some board members questioned whether it was still a topic that was relevant enough to move forward with a name change, while others said the board has done nothing but drag its heels when it comes to this issue.

Trustee Ted Gordon, who has been a very outspoken critic of the slow pace at which AISD has discussed Confederate name changes, said he's actually opposed to removing things like statues and plaques, and is not a fan of changing the name of schools either.  But Gordon also said AISD has failed to properly teach students about the true history of the Confederacy, and because of that, he thinks a name change is necessary.

"I'm for taking the names off of the schools because we can't even have that kind of conversation," Gordon said.  

But Gordon also made it clear that he believes the Confederacy is directly responsible for the hardships non-white students face in 2018.

"There's a direct connection to John. H Reagan and the fact that our black kids are doing between 30 and 40 points worse on math and reading," he said.

Some of the discussion also focused on the cost of such an endeavor.  Each of the five schools would cost around $77,000 to make changes, including signage and uniforms, totaling $385,000.

The schools facing a name change are:

  • Reagan High School
  • Eastside Memorial High School's Johnston Campus
  • Lanier High School
  • Fulmore Middle School
  • Allen Elementary

The board will take an official vote on February 26.

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