CANISTEO, N.Y. (WROC) – With new guidance from the New York State Department of Education, public schools affiliated with Native American names, logos or mascots will have to change by the end of this school year.

The latest update from the state has prompted some questions for those in school administration who will need to make a change.

Tom Crook, superintendent of Canisteo-Greenwood Central Schools, says his district is working on that process.

The Canisteo-Greenwood Redskins are among numerous districts that will soon need a new name and mascot, according to the state education department.

Crook says it’s been a developing conversation among administration, the board of education and community members for months.

“What I really wanted for my community was the opportunity to have a conversation about it, to voice their concerns, ask questions, and even voice their opinions about the use of the mascot,” said Crook.

With the state’s latest memo issued Thursday, that process will be accelerated. Crook says it raises questions for instance, on how to pay for the change and where those funds will come from.

“I’m thinking it’s more along the lines of asking schools to affirmatively commit by the end of this school year that they will change the mascot,” said Crook, “It’s going to cost money as well, quite a bit, I know that’s a major concern for many districts out there and boards. How are we going to pay for this?”

If districts don’t comply by the end of the year, the state says they could be subject to penalties, such as the removal of school officers and withholding of state aid.

Crook says his district will continue to build on their discussions.

“Obviously, we need some time to process this memo. Even though we’ve been having conversations, the memo changes things. I feel we’re in a very good spot to do it in a timely manner,” said Crook.

News 8 has reached out to other area districts that may be impacted by this and has not yet heard back.