San Rafael School Board to Vote Tonight on Name Change


The Dixie School Board is expected to vote tonight on changing its name. The tiny Marin County district in northern San Rafael has received 13 separate petitions with suggested alternative names, but district staff says nine of them are either too close to other existing districts or also carry controversial baggage. Supporters of a name change say Dixie is tied to slavery and the Civil War-era South while opponents contend the district was named after a Native American woman named Mary Dixie and its name is associated with high test scores, not racism. The district was named Dixie in 1863 and the debate to change the name has been raging on and off since 1997.