Sponsorship cancellation forces school closure

HOUSTON A Houston ISD college prep high school sponsored by Texas Southern University is shutting down after university officials decided to withdraw from the partnership, an HISD spokesman said.

TSU officials sent Houston ISD administrators a letter stating their plans to discontinue their partnership with Empowerment College Preparatory High School, voiding the grant needed to support the high school's operations, Houston ISD Spokesman Norman Uhl said.

Empowerment can operate only if it remains in a partnership with a college willing to house the high school campus on college grounds, Uhl said. TSU's decision left district officials with no choice but to close the school's doors.

Houston ISD officials have scheduled a meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at the South Region Office, 4040 W. Fuqua, to discuss the options of students enrolled at Empowerment, Uhl said. Among the choices is an offer to transfer students to other early college high schools and provide them with transportation.

Empowerment started in 2005 and moved to TSU's campus in August 2009, Uhl said. The campus was working to transition into South Early College High School.

The high school helped students prepare for college by providing a cirriculum with only pre-Advanced Placement and AP Dual Credit classes, according to the school's website.

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