Special Fund Allows Community Members to Support the Renaming of Public Schools
DCPS and JPEF are partnering to provide an opportunity for community members to support the renaming of public schools.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 7, 2020 — The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is proud to announce the creation of a special fund to allow community members to support public school renamings through tax-deductible donations.
On June 16, the Duval County School Board voted unanimously, 7-0, to begin the renaming process for six public schools whose names honor Confederate leaders: Joseph Finegan Elementary, Stonewall Jackson Elementary, Jefferson Davis Middle, Kirby-Smith Middle, J.E.B. Stuart Middle and Robert E. Lee High. The Fund would help offset the costs of renaming the six schools, if the Duval County School Board approves new names.
“Research shows students are better able to learn when they feel welcome and represented at school,” said Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “JPEF plays a unique role in our community as a research-driven, independent nonprofit focused on education equity. As part of that role, we are honored to partner with Duval County Public Schools on this effort so that our community can seize this moment to make lasting change in Duval County.”
“This is an opportunity for people to demonstrate their support for this initiative by helping offset the cost,” said Warren A. Jones, chairman of the Duval County School Board. “I’m very thankful that JPEF is helping us establish this fund because it gives all corporate and individual residents an opportunity to really buy into change and progress and demonstrate that our city is truly pursuing a new future of anti-racism and appreciation for all residents.”
Jones is the board member who initiated the process to consider new names for these six schools. The process will begin after school starts in August and is inclusive of stakeholders of each school including students, faculty and staff, alumni and residents in the school’s attendance zone.
Through the School Renaming Fund, community members can make tax-deductible donations to help offset the costs of renaming the schools, which can include new signage, new paint, refinishing athletic fields and courts, and providing new uniforms to sports teams and bands. JPEF played a similar role when Nathan Bedford Forrest High was renamed Westside High in 2014.
JPEF is proud to serve as fiscal agent for Duval County Public Schools in this effort, allowing contributions to be tax-deductible through JPEF’s 501(c)3 status. JPEF will use contributions to the Fund to make grants to schools that are renamed.
Supporters can make donations right now at jaxpef.org/renaming.
About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund
The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is a research-driven, independent nonprofit organization that is working to close the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color in Duval County. We believe public schools have made tremendous progress over the last ten years, but we cannot stop working until every student is prepared for success in college, career and life. We invest in building the capacity of school leaders, teacher leaders and parent leaders to improve school quality. For more information: www.jaxpef.org.