Vote on J.E.B. Stuart Elementary renaming set for June 18

Vote on J.E.B. Stuart Elementary renaming set for June 18
Richmond's mayor and the top official with Richmond Public Schools support changing the name of J.E.B. Stuart Elementary. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - All signs are pointing toward a new name for J.E.B. Stuart Elementary, Richmond's only Confederate-named school.

Many - both school leaders and the public- say it's about time to make the change at the school, which is 95 percent African American.

"Students deserve the school to be named after someone they can relate to," one woman said at the most recent public input meeting.

All but one school board member have said they're in favor of stripping the school of its current name.

This comes not even six months after Petersburg decided to change its Confederate-named schools and Hanover decided to keep Lee Davis as is.

The official vote is expected to take place June 18.

Should it pass - and it seems it will - the board will work to call J.E.B. Stuart something else by the 2018-19 school year.

At the most recent school board meeting, residents proposed all sorts of new names ranging from abolitionists, like Abraham Lincoln, to alumni.

Superintendent Jason Kamras has mentioned Oliver Hill, but nothing is official until the votes roll in.

According to an estimate from the school system's administration, it would cost $26,000 to rename the school.

There's no word yet on where the system would get the money to do that.

James Scott Barlow from the board says they're still working out the funds, but would consider community donations to keep the name change as cost-efficient as possible.

Meanwhile, the meal tax that will bring in 1.5 million for dilapidated schools goes into effect this July, and teachers say that's still not enough money to fix the crumbling schools.

That alone has many on the opposing side saying the money for the name change - wherever it comes - can be better spent.

The vote and new name announcement is expected to take place June 18.

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