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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Texas State Representative Sylvester Turner
News Release
Thursday, November 17, 2011

St. Rep. Turner Calls Community Meeting
Over Future of Booker T. Washington High School 

WHO:             St. Rep. Sylvester Turner

WHAT:          Community meeting about the future of Booker T. Washington High School

WHERE:        Booker T. Washington High School, 119 E. 39th St.

WHEN:          6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 17

State Representative Sylvester Turner has called a special Community Meeting about his concern over the future of Booker T. Washington High School.

Turner says it is vital that everyone who is committed to the survival and legacy of Booker T. Washington attend this meeting.  A large audience is expected.

“In the last few years, several historic schools in the Houston Independent School District have been closed,” Turner explained.  “More schools could suffer the same fate.  It is my concern that Booker T. Washington High School may become a target for closure.”

After four years of being rated “Academically Acceptable,” Booker T. Washington dropped to “Academically Unacceptable” in 2011.  Home Economics, Cosmetology, and the band programs have been shut down or are in danger of being shut down.  Several significant maintenance issues that support the school’s operations have not been properly addressed. 

“I am deeply concerned that the present state of Booker T. Washington, if left unaddressed and unprioritized, may leave the school vulnerable for the future,” said Turner.  “It is important that the students, alumni, parents and community of Booker T. Washington High School attend this meeting and voice their concern now while something can be done.”

Just this past Saturday, a state historical marker was placed at Booker T. Washington High School recognizing its founding in 1893 as Colored High School, the first high school in Houston open to African Americans.  (The school was originally located in the Fourth Ward.)  It remained the only high school that accepted African American students until 1926.




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