By Ray Ruiz
HOUSTON — At a meeting in April, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Board decided to merge the exemplary-rated Kaleidoscope Charter School with Jane Long Middle School by a vote of 6-3. Kaleidoscope has just over 100 students, many of which come from Latino immigrant families.
The decision was called “horrible” by activists who gathered over 640 signatures in a petition to save the school. At the meeting, 35 supporters in red shirts stood together to urge the school board to not merge Kaleidoscope with what they feel is a struggling middle school.
“Out of all the schools that are currently exemplary, why would you shut one down?” asked community organizer Fidencio Leija Chavez, Jr. “Instead of embracing it — keeping it intact — they’re wanting to take it apart and dismantle it.”
A coalition of local Latino groups, which included Mi Familia Vota, Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha (FIEL), and National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO) Leadership Institute sought to keep the school open.
The school board took about ninety minutes to reach their decision…