Texas district to pay $284K for reburial of inmates’ remains

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FILE – In this July 16, 2018, file photo, students hand excavate at a historic burial site, at the site of the James Reese Career and Technical Center in Sugar Land, Texas, where a historic cemetery was discovered earlier. The Houston-area school district will spend $284,000 for reburial of the remains believed to be 95 African American prisoners hired out during the notorious Texas convict-leasing period. Trustees of the Fort Bend Independent School District on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, awarded the reinterment contract to the Missouri City Funeral Directors. The remains were found last year at the school construction site. (Marie D. De Jesus//Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

SUGAR LAND, Texas (AP) — A Houston-area school district will spend $284,000 for the reburial of remains believed to be 95 African American prisoners hired out during the notorious Texas convict-leasing period.

Trustees of the Fort Bend Independent School District on Monday night awarded the reinterment contract to the Missouri City Funeral Directors. The remains were found last year at a school construction site in Sugar Land.

District officials later decided not to build on the property that’s believed to be a burial site for inmates contracted out, but not paid, in the decades after the Civil War.

Fort Bend County and school officials in July reached an agreement to establish a permanent resting place for the convict laborers as part of a possible memorial and education center.

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