Austin ISD considers renaming 5 campuses named after Confederate soldiers


At tonight’s board meeting, Austin ISD trustees will discuss renaming five schools and facilities named after individuals associated with the Confederate States of America’s army or government.

Schools to be considered for renaming include Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Sidney Lanier Early College High School, John H. Reagan Early College High School and Eastside Memorial Early College High School at the Albert Sidney Johnston campus. The John T. Allan facility, a former school which is now defunct, is also on the list.

Estimated costs associated with changing the name of a school vary based on grade level, according to the district. Elementary school name changes carry a cost of approximately $13,800, while secondary school name changes cost about $77,000.

Costs associated with a name change include expenses related to signage, stationary and forms, gym floor logos, band and sports uniforms, and miscellaneous painting.

Background documents for tonight’s meeting report the district’s administration has met with Campus Advisory Committees at Lanier, Fulmore and Reagan to discuss the possibility of renaming the facilities. Questions that were asked include:

  • What have you heard around the topic of the school’s name and its association with the Confederate army?
  • What are your thoughts on this topic?
  • What would you prefer to see in a process for proposed name changes?

According to district policy, any changes to a school’s name must first be approved by trustees. In 2016, the Lee Elementary School Campus Advisory Committee requested its campus’ name be changed from Robert E. Lee to Russel E. Lee. That request was approved by the board.

Tonight’s agenda item is for discussion only, meaning no formal action will be taken to rename the schools.

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  1. Waste of money. If you’re going to take away Reagan’s history, you may as well close it and combine it with LBJ.

  2. Sidney Lanier had many contributions to history. Who cares that he served in the Confederate Army. If people don’t like the name go to a different school and leave history alone.

  3. Leave it alone. No reason to waste money to appease bigots who do not know history.
    Confederacy fighting for slavery, why? Who was trying to take the slaves? Was not the North – Crittenden Johnson resolution of July 1861 removes all doubt. Look up the many Texas, Louisiana, Florida units made up primarily of Hispanics.

Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.
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