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Board expected to vote on issue of renaming Lee High & other Duval schools

Total cost of renaming 6 Duval County schools as superintendent suggests would be around $825K

DCPS police prepare for what is expected to be a lively school board meeting. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After nearly 11 months of public debates and demonstrations, the Duval County School Board will vote Tuesday evening on nine school names that are branded after controversial historical figures.

The Duval County School Board building was blocked by barricades and cones Tuesday as school district police prepared for demonstrators ahead of the vote. The cones and barriers were placed several feet in front of the building and school district police were on site, guarding the property.

Tuesday’s vote comes after months of emotional debate from both sides of the issue that sparked national attention. Last week, opponents to the name changes posted about a dozen Confederate flags on Duval Schools’ property as people gathered for a demonstration and the two sides faced off in the parking lot with microphones and megaphones.

Superintendent Diana Greene recommended changing the names of six of the nine schools under consideration for renaming.

After nearly 11 months of public debates and demonstrations, the Duval County School Board will vote Tuesday evening on nine school names that are branded after controversial historical figures.

According to the superintendent’s recommendations set to go before the School Board, Robert E. Lee High School’s name change would cost more than originally estimated -- around $366,000.

The middle schools -- including J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis and Kirby-Smith -- are now estimated to be cheaper to rename than originally quoted -- less than $150,000 each.

The elementary schools -- Joseph Finegan and Stonewall Jackson -- also come in under the original estimate. They’ll cost around $12,000 each.

Updated cost estimate of school name changes (Source: Duval County Public Schools)

SchoolUpdated cost estimateOriginal cost estimate
Joseph Finegan Elementary$12,000$32,000
Stonewall Jackson Elementary$12,000$32,000
J.E.B. Stuart Middle$143,307$287,000
Jefferson Davis Middle$143,307$287,000
Kirby-Smith Middle$148,307$287,000
Robert E. Lee High$366,302$287,000
Andrew Jackson HighN/A$287,000
Jean Ribault HighN/A$287,000
Jean Ribault MiddleN/A$287,000
Total$825,223$2,073,000

Jean Ribault Middle, Jean Ribault High and Andrew Jackson High schools were not given estimates because they were not recommended for renaming.

If the School Board approves Greene’s picks, the total cost of renaming the six schools would be around $825,000.

According to Greene’s recommendations, private donations would cover 76% of the cost, with the other 24% coming from sponsorship dollars through the school district’s beverage contract. An estimated $202,000 is what the district would plan to spend if the School Board approves Greene’s plan.

How would the cost of renaming be paid for?

Funding sourcesAmount
Private donations (76%)$623,223
Sponsorship funds from beverage agreement (24%)$202,000
Total cost of renaming recommended six schools (100%)$825,223

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.

Joe covers education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.