The school board in Port Arthur will be discussing the possibility of changing the names of two elementary schools named after confederate soldiers.

The agenda for the next board meeting of the Port Arthur Independent School District on Thursday, August 24,includes an agenda item for discussion to "consider the possible re-naming of Robert E. Lee and Dick Dowling Elementary Schools."

"Conversation has been around for a while. We've heard some things, but of course, the board just doesn't act just on a whim. You have to take into consideration and they make decisions based on what's good for the entire district." said Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie.

The item is listed at the bottom of the agenda following a consent agenda entry that contains 40 items to be considered before the discussion of possibly renaming the schools comes up.

"We want our community to be involved because we educate students from the community and we want their parents and we want the community to let us know their feelings." Porterie said.

On Monday, Porterie explained the school district is made up of 48% Hispanic students and 44% African-American students.

The meeting is set to be called to order at 5:30 p.m. but the will immediately go into a closed session and re-open for the public meeting at 7 p.m. according to the agenda.

PAISD Board Agenda for Aug 24