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School leaders say they need funding from state to change Native American logos, mascots, and names by deadline

Some school leaders say they will need state funding to meet its recently imposed deadline for changing logos, mascots, and other imagery connected to Native Americans.

The state’s education department released a memo earlier this month, outlining immediate steps schools would have to take if they had such logos or imagery associated with their district.

Failing to meet the deadline could result in loss of state funding and removal of officers.


The state Education Department says it’s working on updated guidance that will clarify school district’s obligations in the process. The point, advocates say, was to push school districts to have a conversation about inappropriate names and mascots, instead of kicking the can down the road.

That said, some school leaders say they need funding to make these changes happen. “I would quickly refer to [it] as an unfunded mandate,” Rotterdam Superintendent Shannon Shine recently said. “They need to back it up with dollars.” Shine’s district is among those in New York being faced with a difficult choice and timeline.

Administrators across the state are largely confused about the timeline, but also the uncertainty around what components need to change. For example, will schools need to change logos, athletic team names, or entire district identities?

For now, districts are waiting for more information.



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