EPISD funding from the state

August 24, 2016

We received a comment from a regular commenter  the other day that “we have a rigged [funding] system that favors the Dallas-Austin-Houston corridor”.  The comment was about state funding of local issues in general, not just about school district funding.

Looking into the 2016-2017 budgets for the Austin, Dallas, El Paso, and Houston school districts we were quite surprised by the amounts the state provides for each student.

Austin Independent School District projects an enrollment of 82,690 students.  They show total anticipated state funding at $68,994,815.  That comes to $834 per student for the school year.

The Dallas Independent School District projects receipt of $332,186,058 from the state and an enrollment of 159,310 students.  The per student revenue from the state works out to be $2,085.

Our El Paso Independent School District anticipates enrollment of 58,542 students and total state revenue of $309,110,521.  That works out to $5,280 per student.

The Houston Independent School District has been declared property rich by the state and as a result will actually pay money to the state.

What have we missed?

We deserve better

Brutus

 


How much can you afford?

August 23, 2016

The Wednesday, August 17, 2016 front page of The El Paso Times was a doozy.

All of the articles were about potential tax increases from local governments.

Our city council wants a 5.29% tax increase.  The mayor vetoed their motion.

Our county hospital wants to raise their tax rate the maximum amount they can without triggering an election that would require approval by the voters.  Even with that increase they are projecting a $19 million deficit.  Keep in mind that this is a situation left to us by our former hospital administrator.  The new guy has only been on the job about a month and is the inheritor of this mess.

The El Paso Independent School District is calling for a $668.7 million bond election because of declining student enrollment.  Elrichiboy pointed out in Count Your Blessings how fortunate we are that enrollment has not reached zero.  If the bond issue passes school taxes will go up 15.25%.  At least we get to vote on this one.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD bonds–silver medal

August 22, 2016

If they had an olympic contest for the highest tax rate in the nation it looks like El Paso would come in at second place in another year or so if the EPISD bond issue passes.

In Climbing to the top we wrote that El Paso taxpayers only had to clmb over an effective property tax of 2.675% in order to be higher than Milwaukee.  The report we got our numbers from put us at 2.640%.

The city, county, and hospital district are working hard to get us a silver or gold too.

We deserve better

Brutus


Paying for our schools — businesses

August 21, 2016

If a primary purpose of our public schools now is to develop competent workers, shouldn’t those businesses pay a portion of our education costs?

Right now the local portion of the costs are paid through property taxes.

If businesses are beneficiaries of our investment in education shouldn’t they help pay the bill?

Could they pay based upon their number of employees?

Would a percentage of the total payroll be more appropriate as a way to recognize the earning power created in our schools?

Some may consider these to be absurd alternatives to our present system.

We need to do something to fix our financing system for education.

We deserve better

Brutus


Just agree, we’ll figure out the details later

August 20, 2016

Item 26.1 on the Tuesday, August 9, 2016 city council agenda is a real jewel.  It reads:

An Ordinance adopting the City of El Paso Bike Plan as the official bicycle master plan for the City of El Paso and to incorporate this plan as an addendum to Plan El Paso.

The backup material includes a 197 page report.  This page is part of the Vision and Goals portion of the report:

bicycleplan

Objective two has a goal date of January 2017.  That’s five months from now.  Notice that the current strategy to accomplish the goal is “No current defined strategy”.

Yet they want to make this plan part of our city’s future.

We deserve better

Brutus


A long road to justice

August 19, 2016

Recently a 21-year-old man was found not guilty of murder by an El Paso jury.

He had been in jail since August 29, 2013 while he was waiting for trial.

This quote comes from a Times article about the situation:

“It’s not a secret.  Mr. Montoya (one of the prosecutors) said it in his close, ‘I wish we had proof, but we don’t.'”

We deserve better

Brutus


County Commissioners salary per capita

August 18, 2016

Our county commissioners are trying to use arithmetic to justify the massive pay raises they just gave themselves.

One of our astute readers gave us a chart showing the Texas counties with large populations and how much their commissioners are paid.

If you take their salary and divide it by the number of people in the county you end up with how much they are paid for each person that they are to represent.

The results:

Bexar (San Antonio)  6 cents

Dallas  5 cents

Harris (Houston) 4 cents

Tarrant (Fort Worth) 8 cents

El Paso 11 cents

We deserve better

Brutus


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