April 1, 2021 – A recurring question at recent community meetings hosted by the district has been whether money from a half-cent sales tax will be used toward paying any school-renaming costs.
The answer to that question is no.
No money generated by the sales surtax will be used to pay for any related costs if the school board decides to change the name of a school.
The half-penny sales surtax, approved by voters in November 2020, is solely for the purposes of rebuilding crumbling and aging school buildings, enhancing security features at each school, creating more productive learning spaces for students, and eliminating more than a billion dollars in deferred maintenance.
To keep track of how the sales surtax money is spent, visit the district’s Master Facilities Plan Implementation webpage.
So, if not from the half-penny surtax, where will the money come from if the school board approves a school name change?
As district leadership shared at a board workshop early March, the cost will be paid from existing revenue sources such as the district’s general and capital funds.
Additionally, funding from private donations will be used. This includes private donations made through the School Renaming Fund set up by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. At the time of this writing, more than $12,000 had been raised, and the district has received a separate donation of $10,000.
How much will it cost?
The name change process gives various school stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback and alternative names. This feedback informs the superintendent’s recommendations. The superintendent’s recommendations – which can include a recommendation to keep a school’s current name – are then presented to the board for a final decision.
If the board approves a name change, the estimated cost of renaming the school is as follows: approximately $32,000 for an elementary school and $287,000 for a secondary school. These costs include signage, printed materials and sports and band uniforms.
All costs are estimations, and actual costs may vary per school based on multiple factors.
More information about the school renaming process – and the answers to more Frequently Asked Questions – are available on the district’s Name Change Tracker webpage.