It will cost $1.2 million to change the school names of those linked to historical figures of the confederacy.
Those moving forward with the lawsuit against the board of trustees are for more accountability.
“Yes, we voted these people in, but we didn’t know they would hijack our money and spend it on foolishness," said Eileen Howell, a former HISD parent and employee.
“You call carving out the name of some guy who has been dead for a century out of the building, an update?” said Wayne Dolcefino, the spokesperson representing the group.
The groups said the amount of money meant to change the names of several schools should go towards real needs.
“That money needs to be used for the students in special education. Special education kids need the help,” said Nancy Abrego, a former employee.
Dolcefino said at a time when the district just finalized budget cuts, it seems ill-planned to spend more than million dollars on the name change process.
“Everyone at home knows that HISD is cutting classroom tutors, they are cutting classroom supplies. They are cutting teacher bonuses and yet they have money for this,” said Dolcefino.
The board of trustees had voted to change several school names linked to the confederacy, after similar moves across the country helped ease racial tension.
Crowds cheered on the removal of the confederate flag in South Carolina's capitol.
The district said when the board voted on the name changes, they could only estimate the cost and have been open during the process and the lawsuit.
On Wednesday, people said the problem wasn’t the goal behind the name changes, but the lack of transparency in the process.
“We need these trustees to be able to be trusted with our money and they cannot be trusted at this time," said Howell.
HISD released the following statement:
By their nature, the costs associated with renaming the schools are not known precisely when the decisions were made. These are refined over time and HISD administration
has presented updated information since before it was served with the lawsuit and will continue to do so in the future. The court has heard oral argument and testimony over two days in this lawsuit. The parties are submitting briefs to the court this week and next and anticipate a decision soon after.The remedy sought by the parties in the lawsuit was to overturn the renaming of the schools. That is clear in their pleadings and in their responses to the Judge’s questions in open court. HISD is confident that the estimates provided in the past and in the future do not affect the validity of the Board’s action to rename the schools, which it occurred during public meetings this past spring.
On Thursday, the board voted to approve the budget for the name changes of the schools despite the lawsuit.
HISD board votes to approve spending of $1.2 million for name change of several schools despite lawsuit @KHOU— Kevin Reece (@KReeceKHOU) August 12, 2016