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AISD’s yet-baked naming policy causes delays

Thursday, February 11, 2016 by Courtney Griffin

At Monday’s board dialogue meeting, the Austin Independent School District board of trustees held off on telling staff to study possible fundraising methods that would be used to create an endowment for the new Performing Arts Center. Currently, the PAC is unnamed, and staff is looking at using a namesake to interest potential donors. However, names have been known to open a can of worms at AISD, and although trustees have tweaked the district’s naming policy, they are still creating drafts for a more finalized version. At Monday’s meeting, trustees could not decide if corporate donations should be included in the new naming policy. District 1 Trustee Edmund Gordon said that if included, corporate donations raised the possibility that AISD facilities could bear the name of corporate sponsors. Even with a clause stating that all donors needed to have values in line with AISD’s and that any namesakes could be revoked if a donor’s values strayed, many trustees were still uncomfortable with the newly drafted naming policy. This, in turn, stalled any progress toward raising funds for the PAC endowment. AISD’s policy committee will take another crack at the naming policy before the issue comes in front of the board again next month.

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