The Humble Independent School District election has been on my mind because I remember the disregard with which the current board treated engaged parents when they were concerned about the hiring of Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen. I remember the three-hour filibuster by board member Keith Lapeze to ensure the TV cameras would be gone for the 10 o'clock news and to ensure that parents who had to go to work would leave in disgust. But most parents were passionate. They stayed. I wrote about it and included all the videos here. Ultimately the Humble ISD school board went against the parents and hired Elizabeth Fagen.
I read the following post by Daniel Ledoux on the Humble ISD Parents Facebook Group.
It has been lauded that the HISD School Board race is nonpartisan and, indeed, the candidates do not run under the banner of a political Party..... So why are the candidates below using the resources of the Harris County Republican Party??
FYI that is the Kingwood Republican Party headquarters, where they gathered today prior to heading out to block walk. The question, then, must be asked....What other resources and support from the Republican Party are these incumbents and candidates receiving? Money? Voter/email lists? Republican Campaign consultants? Does it seem fair to you that other candidates run as nonpartisan and do not call upon Party resources to bolster their campaigns?
I replied to Ledoux's comment with a version of the following comment which I then expanded and posted in the Facebook group. I hope my friends and neighbors heed the message.
The incumbents in Humble ISD race are running a very well funded campaign. They are decidedly supported by the Kingwood Republican Party. That reality is concerning but not unexpected. We are now in a time where grassroots activity can overpower the establishment orthodoxy. In other words, folks, your voice and friendships with Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and everyone in between can earn the trust more so than fliers and robocalls designed to misinform and scare.
I know all the candidates challenging the status quo, and they are really running non-partisan campaigns. Moreover, it is easy to infer that they share different party affiliations. But this is a non-partisan position, and as such, all that matters is that they want what is best for our kids and not for some specific ideological tenet.
The tactics of the Kingwood Republican Party leaders should be concerning. It is as if they are concerned that these fresh eyes, these parents who deserve to have these positions, will disrupt the unseen gravy train.
I hope all of my Republican, Democratic, & Independent friends with children in Humble ISD or with children who came out of this wonderful district, or just taxpayers take a look at this election seriously, educate themselves, and participate. The actions this board has taken lends itself to the frog who stays in a pot of water slowly increasing in temperature. By the time it realizes the water is boiling, it is too late. The negative results from the changes and experiments on your children's education or the education of the children of your friends and neighbors cannot be undone if the outcome of the current path is realized.
Why are these incumbents spending or why on behalf of these incumbents are tens of thousands of dollars being spent for unpaid board positions? I have several theories. But they are not yet materially fact based as it pertains to this district. It is however not difficult to infer.
Candidate Bob Rehak's interaction with the board on a multi-million dollar outlay that was met not only with disrespect to a taxpayer but was quickly ignored as they approved the expenditure is probative. Rehak explained it as follows.
"At a public board meeting, when I asked for information about a multi-million bid that sounded quite high, neither my opponent nor any of his fellow incumbents answered my questions. Yet they voted unanimously to approve the bid."
See his note/thread here (http://bit.ly/2ozhhRW).
It is said we deserve the government we get. It is said that our government is a reflection of us. It is a bit different. Good government is a reflection of us. Bad government is a reflection of an overstressed and misinformed us. Being informed starts at home, locally. We should not allow folks who have ulterior motives to manipulate us irrespective of our personal ideologies. There is too much we share in common especially that which is best for our kids.
Humble, Atascocita, Kingwood, and surrounding areas that are part of Humble ISD, it is imperative that you vote in the interest of your children and the children of your friends and neighbors. This school was great for my daughter. The path that is becoming obvious will deny your kids what mine and many others had.
The Humble ISD Parents group said they would support candidates that would listen to the parents to challenge the status quo. They have fulfilled that promise.
While the parents are running a completely grassroots campaign, the incumbents are running a well-funded campaign that is saturating the space with misleading robocalls and brochures. While I have copies of the brochures and robocalls, I choose not to give them more reach by including them in this post.