Two trustees of the Houston Independent School District strenuously object to the state’s plan to disrupt and takeover the district. It is no accident, they say, that such takeovers target predominantly black-and-brown districts. The state’s goal is to resegregate the district, while enriching charter chains that will swoop in to grab public schools.

The article was written by Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Elizabeth Santos.

“Last month the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees made a difficult decision. At risk of losing the elected positions for which we all campaigned passionately, we rejected an ultimatum created by state law: Privatize four historically black and brown schools or face a hostile state takeover of the entire district. We were elected to see to it that our public schools thrive, not facilitate their transfer to charter managers who can make money off our students.

Now the state is in a position to remove us from office because four schools have been on the “improvement required” list for at least five years.

Some of us reasonably felt that turning these four schools — Wheatley High School, Kashmere High School, Henry Middle School and Highland Heights Elementary — into charter schools would prevent even worse sanctions from the state. While that may have been true for this year, there was no guarantee that we would not face the same dilemma next year and each year after that for different campuses until our district became segregated into two different communities — those that have direct electoral control over their school leaders and those that do not. Such a system of haves and have-nots is simply unacceptable.

The charter vultures are circling.