HSPVA: TELL KINDER FOUNDATION TO KINDLY GIVE IT BACK!
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Last fall the Houston Board of Education voted to accept, without negotiation, a contract to change the name of HSPVA to Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, for $7.5 million, to cover a 5% budget gap in the construction of the new school. Kinder Foundation pressured the board to a vote in six days with contract terms it said would "expire." Kinder Foundation is the private charity of the Chairman of the pipeline company Kinder Morgan, Inc.
If your first reaction to the name change was, “NO!”, you were not wrong.
Forcing the school district to give Kinder the maximum recognition for the minimum contribution and allowing only six days for the public to respond, demanding a quick vote with a take-it-or-leave-it offer, is not the right template for this unprecedented transaction. HISD has never sold naming rights before. Don't the Kinders want to show how to do it right?
The name change does not take effect until January 2019. It overwrites important cultural history. What is more basic to a city than the identity of its public schools? Should billionaires be able to buy 45- -year-old historic school names for the minimum cover charge mentioned in a badly written never-used policy? Do we let them do that without even a murmur?
We appeal to the Kinders to amend the contract and give the school name back and accept a theater name instead.
Find out more about the appeal at our website http://www.kindergiveitback.org
Let’s put on some pressure!
PLEASE USE THE COMMENT SECTION OF THE PETITION TO TELL US YOUR AFFILIATION WITH THE SCHOOL AND WITH HISD, INCLUDING CLASS YEAR IF YOU ARE A STUDENT, PARENT OR ALUMNUS. YOU CAN ALSO SAY HOUSTON CITIZEN, TEXAS CITIZEN, ETC. WITH COMMENTS WE CAN TELL THE KINDERS HOW MANY SIGNATURES WERE FROM HOUSTON OR THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE. ELECT TO RECEIVE UPDATES ON THE PETITION WHEN YOU SIGN.
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- Nancy and Richard Kinder
To Nancy and Richard Kinder:
Thank you for your generous support of Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Your forward-thinking example will encourage others to contribute to our public schools.
Thousands of Houstonians, alumni, students, parents, and educators built the HSPVA brand over 45 years of achievement and excellence. The school’s name is enhanced and inextricably linked to the accomplishments of 42 graduating classes. It's community built.
We respectfully ask that you allow the institution name to remain the same. Having one family’s name on the school diminishes the important contributions of Houston’s educators and citizens. It overwrites our city’s cultural history.
Taxpayers are contributing 95% of the cost of the new building. Your foundation’s contribution is welcome, but naming the entire school “Kinder” is just not proportional. A theater named in your honor would be a wonderful, appropriate, and lasting form of recognition.
Mr. and Mrs. Kinder, you are leaders in our community. Your contribution to HISD sets the template for others. It should be the best possible example.
To voluntarily reduce the scope of your contract and recognition would show true charity and generate tremendous goodwill toward the Kinder name, far more than the school name change.
To belong to something wonderful is different from owning it. You belong; all Houstonians belong.
Houstonians are in this together. Our school names should reflect that. Let us take the time together, to get this right.
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