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Home Texas Harris County Houston Harris County Department of Education

Harris County Department of Education

  Texas Historical Markers
6300 Irvington Blvd, Houston, TX, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 29° 48' 58.535172", -95° 21' 39.593088"
    Texas State
Historical Marker
    The Texas Declaration of Independence specifically noted the lack of a public education system as one compelling reason for establishing a separate republic. Later, as a result, President Mirabeau B. Lamar led the Congress in setting aside land in each county to support primary schools and colleges. As Texas continued to develop during the 19th century, additional legislation began to define a cohesive educational system. By November 1856, Harris County funded schooling for indigent children; within two years, the county also used public monies for teacher examinations. During the next decades, the state created the office of the State Superintendent of Schools, allowing each county to establish the office of County Superintendent. Early Harris County schools were served by district and community systems. In 1889, the county created its Department of Education, and all schools became part of its jurisdiction. B.L. James became the first County Superintendent, and he oversaw more than 50 Common School Districts. These districts together served approximately 900 students. In the 1920s, once a district's enrollment reached 500, it could attain independent status. As the Texas school district system changed throughout the 20th century, services of the Harris County Department of Education evolved. In 1978, the Legislature abolished state funding for county school trustees, and by 2003 only two such entities fully functioned -- in Harris and Dallas counties -- existing as non-profit support organizations. Today, the Harris County Department of Education supports students, teachers, administrators, school boards and public schools with a wide range of programs. (2005)

This page last updated: 7/15/2008

Harris County Department of Education Historical Marker Location Map, Texas