HISD's plan to right a wrong by renaming some schools will cost taxpayers millions

Image 1 of 2

Schools are named in honor of people that deserve recognition not those with indelible ties to confederacy and racism says H.I.S.D.

The district admits righting a wrong that has lasted for generations won’t come cheap.

“H.I.S.D. says it wouldn’t cost anything and they said they won’t have to tell us where the money is coming from cause zero is zero,” said consultant Wayne Dolecefino.

The district denies saying the name changes would cost nothing. But H.I.S.D. hasn’t even offered taxpayers a ball park figure as to the cost.

The hot button topic at Thursday night’s school board meeting was seat belts. That might be why a five million dollar increase for uniforms passed with barely a mention.

In this contract renewal approval H.I.S.D. says historically it spends up to two million dollars a year for athletic uniforms and equipment .

Now the projected annual expenditure for those same items is a whopping seven million dollars. The board document states,” The dollar increase represent new uniforms request for schools affected by name changed.”

“The document is a confession,” said Dolecefino. “Someone at H.I.S.D. is telling the truth.”

“This is a good indication of how they underestimated the cost,” said Adrienne Murry a concerned parent from Lanier Middle School.

“They’ve barely touched a building,” Murry said. “Now they’re talking about 5 million dollars.”

H.I.S.D. points out uniforms typically have to be replaced anyway.

The district says it’s not trying to re-write history but rather right a wrong.

H.I.S.D. says removing the names of historical figures tied to the confederacy is more important than the cost.

“In the next few weeks you’re going to hear the calls increase for H.I.S.D. to rethink this madness,” Dolecefino said.