The Brenham School Board passed a resolution Thursday evening opposing the opening of the Bluebonnet Haven Residential Treatment Facility. The resolution also called on the state of Texas to deny any form of license for the facility. The planned facility is currently under construction on Highway 36 South of Brenham and could house troubled teenagers as early as next fall. The resolution points out that Brenham ISD currently has 13 percent of its enrollment classified as special education students, due to the Brenham State School and 3 residential homes being located in the county. The state average for special education students in a district is only 8 percent. The resolution says that the students at the Bluebonnet Haven Facility would add to this imbalance and that the school district lacks the needed resources to educate them. It points out that Brenham ISD would be required by the state to hire additional specialists for the students at the facility, and cover any costs that exceed state reimbursements.
Board Vice-President Melvin Ehlert said that he understood from our State Senator, Lois Kolkhorst, that the school district had the power to veto any residential treatment facility in its boundaries. Superintendent Walter Jackson replied that was not the understanding of the district’s attorneys, but that the district has some weight in the matter and that the resolution should count for something. The resolution was passed unanimously by the Brenham School Board.
Here is the resolution passed by the Brenham School Board: