School & District Management Tracker

Data: The Schools Named After Confederate Figures

By Corey Mitchell — June 17, 2020 | Corrected: January 10, 2023 | Updated: May 10, 2024 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Corrected: This page previously had duplicative entries for Hubbard EL and Hubbard H S in Hubbard ISD and Hubbard Middle in Tyler ISD. The extra entries have been removed and the Texas count has been updated.

This page will be updated when new information becomes available.

The name that graces a school building can carry a lot of weight. Many schools take pride in their name, devoting time and effort to chronicle the history of their name on their websites. School names can be found on athletic fields, school supplies, bumper stickers, and clothing. Changing a name can be costly, complex, and controversial. In Alabama and South Carolina, state laws restrict the renaming of public schools named for Confederate leaders and the removal of statues erected in their honor.

Over the years, campaigns to change the names of schools named after Confederate figures have waxed and waned, usually surging after high-profile incidents such as the June 2015 shooting of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the death and injuries at a 2017 white supremacist rally and counter-protest in Charlottesville, Va., and the killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. These were critical junctures in the ongoing public debate around memorializing those who waged war to maintain slavery.

Approximately 340 schools in 21 states currently bear the names of Confederate figures, according to Education Week’s research. Since June 29, 2020, at least 59 Confederate-named schools have been changed to non-Confederate names. One school district, after voting to change names in 2020, reversed course and reinstated the Confederate names of two schools in 2024.

In addition, our database shows:

  • Almost all of the Confederate-named schools are in states that were part of the Confederacy that fought to preserve the enslavement of Black people in the U.S. Civil War. They are concentrated in six states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
  • While some of the schools are named after well-known leaders such as Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, most of the schools in our database are named after less-known Confederates.
  • Two of the renamed schools are in Alabama—the district incurred a $50,000 fine for the name changes due to the state’s Memorial Preservation Act, which requires that local governments obtain state permission before renaming historically significant buildings.
  • Many of the schools in our database take their name from the city, town, or county they are in, which were named for Confederate figures.

Data Notes

  • Schools that are named after an entity/person that had Confederate ties were included. This includes individuals who served in the Confederate armed forces or in positions of leadership in the Confederate government. For example, schools named after the county or city they are in were included if that city or county was named after a Confederate figure. This list does not distinguish between schools or areas that were named prior to the formation of the Confederacy and those named afterward.
  • This list of schools includes those that are in the process of changing their name but have not decided on a new name. School names that have changed since June 2020 are italicized.
  • Renamed dates in the database indicate when a new name was officially approved.
  • Education Week updates this page with additional schools and school name changes as we become aware of them.
  • On Aug. 21, 2023, the public school directory and enrollment characteristics were updated to use the most recent, 2021-22 school year NCES data.
  • On Oct. 10, 2023, the private school directory and enrollment characteristics were updated with 2021-22 NCES data.
  • Sources: Education Week Research Center and Education Week Library, 2018; news reporting, school and district websites; National Center for Educational Statistics, 2021-22; Wikipedia; The Congressional Naming Commission’s DoD Inventory (2022); Southern Poverty Law Center data, 2016, 2019, 2021, and 2022.

Contact Information

For media or research inquiries about this table and data or to contribute information, contact library@educationweek.org.

How to Cite This Data

Data: The Schools Named After Confederate Figures (2020, June 17). Education Week. Retrieved Month Day, Year from https://www.edweek.org/leadership/data-the-schools-named-after-confederate-figures/2020/06

Related

Research: Holly Peele and Maya Riser-Kositsky
Demographic Analysis: Alex Harwin
Data Visualization: Emma Patti Harris
Web Production: Hyon-Young Kim

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Quiz What Do You Know About the Most Influential People in School Districts? Take Our Quiz
Answer 7 questions about the superintendent profession.
1 min read
Image of icons for gender, pay, demographics.
Canva
School & District Management Opinion I Invited My Students to Be the Principal for a Day. Here’s What I Learned
When I felt myself slipping into a springtime slump, this simple activity reminded me of my “why” as an educator.
S. Kambar Khoshaba
4 min read
052024 OPINION Khoshaba PRINCIPAL end the year with positivity
E+/Getty + Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management The Complicated Fight Over Four-Day School Weeks
Missouri lawmakers want to encourage large districts to maintain five-day weeks—even as four-day weeks grow more popular.
7 min read
Calendar 4 day week
iStock/Getty
School & District Management From Our Research Center Principal Salaries: The Gap Between Expectation and Reality
Exclusive survey data indicate a gap between the expectations and the realities of principal pay.
4 min read
A Black woman is standing on a ladder and looking into the distance with binoculars, in the background is an ascending arrow.
iStock/Getty