A current bill called for private companies to issue proposals on privatizing state schools and hospitals to cut back budget. But the Texas Department of Health and Mental Retardation did not receive any bids on either the Lufkin School or nearby Rusk State Hospital.
This decision has put Lufkin State School Administrators on pins and needles for the past several months awaiting the outcome. The Lufkin State school employs about 1,000 people, and has more than 400 clients. For now, they will be taken care of by state employees. But there are mixed emotions about what the future holds.
"At the present time I look at it with a little optimism for Lufkin, but I also know there will be another Legislative session and the possibility could remain for us to be looked at another time," explained State School Superintendent Randy Spence.
The facility was never visited by any private companies interested in taking over the school. Spence believes that was an indication that the Lufkin State School would not become privatized. Spence says the school can now worry about more important issues.
"Anytime you have issues like this it makes your staff nervous and anxious. And hopefully for Lufkin right now it's good news and we can quit worrying about this for right now and we can do what we're here to do and take care of the people that live here," added Spence.
Although Lufkin State School avoided privatization this time around, they have another hurdle to get over. Legislature is still looking at consolidation and even closure of state schools and hospitals and Lufkin State School is on that list as well.