JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County School Board voted to add three more schools to the list of those being considered for a name change.
Board member Ashley Smith-Juarez introduced a bill that would add Andrew Jackson High School, Jean Ribault High School and Jean Ribault Middle School to the list, bringing the total to nine.
The Duval County School Board previously voted unanimously to begin the renaming process for six public schools whose names honor Confederate leaders: Joseph Finegan Elementary, Stonewall Jackson Elementary, Jefferson Davis Middle, Kirby-Smith Middle, J.E.B. Stuart Middle and Robert E. Lee High.
Smith-Juarez’s bill says the three additional schools were named for “people responsible for systematically marginalizing and killing indigenous people.”
President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which led to the infamous Trail of Tears. Jean Ribault was a French navigator and helped in France’s attempts to colonize Florida.
Next, the superintendent will decide the process for renaming the schools with input from the community.
Duval County School Board Chairman Warren Jones said renaming the first six schools, which includes providing new athletic gear and signage, is expected to cost between $750,000 and $1 million. The estimated cost of changing the three additional school names is about $600,000.
A special fund has been created to help raise the money needed to rename the six schools with names tied to the Confederacy.
According to the Duval County School Board, The Jacksonville Public Education Fund created the fund to allow community members to support public school renamings through tax-deductible donations.
The fund would help offset the costs of renaming the six schools if the Duval County School Board approves new names. JPEF played a similar role when Nathan Bedford Forrest High was renamed Westside High in 2014.
The renaming process will begin after school starts in August and is inclusive of stakeholders of each school, including students, faculty and staff, alumni and residents in the school’s attendance zone.
Supporters can make donations at jaxpef.org/renaming.
It’s unclear if the fund will also be used for the three additional schools now under name change consideration.