Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia is estimating that it will cost $100,000 to rename W.T. Woodson High School.
At a school board meeting Monday night, Leigh Burden, the county’s chief financial officer, said renaming schools usually costs about $300,000, but that the Woodson renaming may not be as costly because some items at the school just say “Woodson,” so they won’t have to be replaced.
The cost estimate came during a conversation about the fiscal 2024 midyear budget review. Virginia’s largest school district has more funding available because of grants and excess sales tax revenue.
Last month, the school board approved renaming W.T. Woodson High School to Carter G. Woodson High. It started the renaming process after historical documents revealed the school’s namesake, Wilbert Tucker Woodson, opposed desegregation.
Wilbert Tucker Woodson was Fairfax County’s second-longest serving superintendent.
The school’s new name is expected to be in place for the 2024-25 school year. The decision to make the change came after months of public engagement.
The school’s new namesake, Carter G. Woodson, is often considered the father of African American history, and is credited with creating the first journals documenting that history.
The funding will be used to help with the “replacement of equipment, uniforms, and minor improvements to reflect the new name,” according to school board documents.
Some of the remaining money from grants and tax revenue will be used to expedite background checks for current employees, and some will pay for surveillance cameras at nine elementary schools.
The school board ultimately has to vote to approve the funding plan.