Dear Sen. Borris Miles,
As president of the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees, I am glad that you have taken the time to write about our district. However, I respectfully disagree with your premise.
This is not the 1960s when people of color were systematically suppressed at the voting booth. This is not a state senate race. This is not about what happened to Barbara Jordan more than 50 years ago. This is not Ferguson — this is Fort Bend ISD. Comparing the two is simply incorrect, and using the words “Jim Crow” to compare our community’s educational system is disrespectful to the people of color who truly suffered from a disgraceful de jure system that endured for more than 100 years.
While I disagree with your premise, I also acknowledge that there is still work to be done, even though tremendous strides have been taken. Fifty years ago would a person of color have been the superintendent of the eighth largest school district in the state?
Fort Bend ISD is an educational institution and our goal is to provide a quality education for all of our students. We need to focus on education — single-member districts will not help improve the education of our students. As president of the board, and a non-politician, I want to focus on those issues that help our students – all students.
I also disagree with your incorrect statement that we were caught “fibbing,” if I could use your word, about the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) review. In July of 2018, we signed a two-page resolution agreement with the OCR. We sent out a release that responded to that two-page resolution. A week later, we received a 22-page letter. We did not fib on our initial release, and your numbers are not correct regarding suspensions. We can show you data on how our programs have reduced suspensions and punitive punishments since Dr. Dupre has been superintendent. If you want the data I can have it sent to you.
In addition, people are not “forced” to vote for any candidate. Our board does represent the entire district as an entity. Why is that wrong? Board members are accountable at the voting booth and can, and have been, turned out of office.
Personally, I would hope that in the next legislative session you will stand up and fight for Fort Bend ISD students and teachers and staff. We will be looking to you and other lawmakers to support mental health resources for our students, funding for safety and security, and addressing the numerous unfunded mandates. Additionally, we need your support in addressing the flawed state A-F accountability system, the complex school finance system, and supporting more local control.
Fort Bend ISD exists to inspire and equip all students to pursue futures beyond what they can imagine. The emphasis is on all students, and that is where we are focusing our efforts as a Fort Bend ISD community.
We look forward to your support in the Texas 86th Legislative Session to achieve these goals for all of our students.
President of the Board Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees