A symbolic ‘perfect match’
Yellowstone Academy, which is aimed at inner-city students, will buy historic school
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
The Houston Independent School District will sell its historic Douglass Elementary School campus to the Yellowstone Academy â€” a 4-year-old private school designed to put inner-city children on the same footing as their counterparts in the suburbs.
Yellowstone Academy’s $1.9 million bid for the property put it atop a list of potential buyers that included the KIPP Academy, the charter school group that’s using the Trulley Street site for a temporary school for students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. HISD shut down the public school last year because of declining enrollment.
At Yellowstone, a Christian school that opened in August 2002 at a church in the Third Ward, the majority of families pays less than $25 a month â€” meaning tuition accounts for less than 1 percent of the school’s $1.7 million annual budget.
Tuition rates are calculated based on each family’s income, expenses and even life-style choices. The average Yellowstone student comes from a family with an annual income of $9,600 a year. More than half receive public assistance and nearly 80 percent are from single-parent families, according to school statistics.
Nearly all children are black. Some of the families live in temporary shelters and a few of the children are in Child Protective Services custody.