Lufkin State School Concerns - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/21/05 - Lufkin

Lufkin State School Concerns

by Chris Cato

Golfers played in the Sunshine Golf Tournament Saturday benefiting the Lufkin State School. While their intentions were good and the money will be well spent this year, it won't be enough money to keep the school open if the legislature decides to shut it down.

Gale Wasson, Assistant Superintendent of Programs at the Lufkin State School, said, "fortunately this year, the legislature doesn't seem to be leaning towards trying to close the facility and we're very grateful for that."

But the threat of closure has it's pitfalls, even if they don't have to shut their doors.

Wasson said, "it's difficult I think for recruitment of employees because employees are concerned that you know if they start working at the state school, they might not have a job in the future so it makes everybody anxious."

Including the families of those living at the state school. Currently there are approximately 420 people living there. If the legislature ever decides to close the school, those residents would be moved, and families would have to drive a long way to visit them.

Wasson said, "it's worrisome for them to have to every year wonder if their individuals or loved ones will be able to live at Lufkin or have to move somewhere else."

While these golfers take swings to raise money for the school, they don't know what will happen to it in the coming years. At least the school will remain open for now, and the residents will not have to be displaced.

The Sunshine Golf Tournament raises about $50,000 a year for the state school Volunteer Services Council. That money is usually spent on trips for state school residents to places like the movies or the zoo.

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