A proposal to change the name of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts has won final legislative passage. The measure changes the name to the Jimmy D. Long Sr. Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in honor of the late state lawmaker who established the school. The bill was amended to allow the original name on diplomas and transcripts, which Franklin Representative Sam Jones says is a good compromise.
“What they wanted to do was save the branding name of that school to emphasize what they do,” Jones said.
Houma Representative Beryl Amedee voted against the measure because she’s heard a lot of opposition. She says a survey of more than 4,000 students, alumni, and other stakeholders finds the people invested in the school disagree with the proposal.
“The results of the survey were that 74 percent opposed this bill because they simply didn’t want the name changed,” Amedee said.
Amedee says 84 percent of respondents wanted to honor the father of the school in some other way. She says one idea was to give him an honorary degree, which has never been done at LSMSA. She says others suggested naming a dorm building after the former state representative.
“The other was going to be by naming this residence hall, the dorm. There’s no other building on campus that’s named for anyone,” Amedee said.
Alexandria Representative Lance Harris presented the amendment. Some students were worried about how a possible name change could affect their college admissions if the university didn’t recognize the new name of the school. He says this amendment is a good compromise.
“That means that all the stationary, the diplomas, the transcript, everything will read as it should, which is the school’s name now,” Harris said.
The bill finally passed the Senate on a 28 to 3 vote.