Take a look at this chart that shows student counts at EPISD over the last several years:
They are in real trouble.
We deserve better
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 18th, 2018 at 7:06 AM and is filed under El Paso Independent School District. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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No EPSID taxpayers are in real trouble because the district’s leadership appears to think if they just spend more money these demographic trends will change.
That has always been EPISD’s trumpet call- CHARGE more. It has helped in 30 years, because they keep doing the same thing by different names.
EPISD has had declining enrollment ever since the military moved back in. The military family’s expectation of a rigorous and cogent education was based upon their experiences elsewhere. They didn’t find it in EPISD so some chose home schooling while others availed themselves of the other districts. When we moved back here in 2003 after an absence of 27 years, we were appalled by the low level of education throughout El Paso, but especially in EPISD. Thankfully our children had already graduated from high school, having been schooled overseas and then in Dallas and Spring. The lack of a true direction, lack of cogent programs that will result in productive members of society and lack of leadership in EPISD has been partially tempered by the efforts of the teachers who still attempt to teach instead of preside over various benchmark testing. However, now EPISD finds itself with 50+ initiatives, all draining money faster than a shill at a carnival, and a shrinking tax base. The tax base by the way is based upon estimated taxes assessed. The reality is EPISD only receives a portion of the actual collections. And tax collections are waay down. Expect to see 2021 as the year EPISD has millions in unfunded obligations and still a tremendously large central office staff, all paid tremendous amounts to do nothing.
Tim Holt says that we should blame the Republicans in Austin. Don’t you agree, Ripper?
Tim can say what he wants. It wouldn’t matter if there were Venusians in Austin, politicians are all the same. Sounds like Tim is trying to divert attention away from local issues to the state, a typical denier diversion.
And let’s not forget they expanded EPSID capacity for the military without understanding that the bulk of personnel increase was coming from single soldiers, not families.
The expansion of Ft Bliss caught everyone by surprise. While Reyes, city and county government and REDCO tried to take credit, it was actually an idea percolating in DOD for years to move troops from states that were not troop-friendly to states that were. The capacity was given to local folks by DOD based upon one of DOD’s standard formulas, which reflect neither reality nor common sense.
Whatever the rationale for BRAC, the FT. Bliss expansion was tracked carefully by a professor at UTEP who reported his findings to the City, HACEP and EPISD. I was in at least one of those meetings in my capacity as Executive Director of the HFC. This was, I think, 2005, and his report at the time showed that the expansion was mostly enlisted soldiers, i.e., boots and rifles. We were not getting the high tech R&D commands that everyone wanted; we were getting 18 year old privates.
I recall the then director of HACEP as saying, “So why is everyone getting excited about this?” I was thinking that maybe I should invest in one of those titty bars out on Montana 🙂
And one of those bars would have been a better investment. None of the high tech support and maintenance corporations followed the armor and infantry, which in itself spoke volumes about El Paso’s attractiveness to business. And where does the equipment- tanks, Bradleys, MRAPs, Strykers,etc- go after a deployment to be repaired and refurbished or replaced? Depot level which is normally a joint military and manufacturer operation near major industry needed to support the needs.
If enrollment declines, so should our taxes. EPISD seems to me to be more interested in advancing the personal agendas of its board, superintendent and politically-favored executives (e.g., Ms. Fuzzy Math) than in education.
EPISD would argue they have fixed costs to meet with the current situation-salaries, benefits, maintenance(what a joke), repair, etc. To truly meet lower taxes would mean selling off over half of EPISD fixed assets and closing many schools. To counter this, they have teams who drum up neighborhood support to keep certain schools open. And upper administration enjoys earning their 6 figure salaries on the backs of minimum wage plus workers. They will by the way end up selling off properties- watch where the current Morehead is.
This is the responsibility of the board – to watch out for the interests of the tax paying public. Obviously, in the short term they have to balance many interests. But over a period of of a few years, declining enrollment should equate to abandoned EPISD assets and reduced expenses.
It would be stupid not to sell off the Morehead property once the new school is built. That is prime commercial real estate.
It has been stupid to continue to build schools when consolidation of existing schools, and the closing of a few, would be a better choice. That leaves properties like Morehead open to sales, reduces operations and maintenance costs, and produces a more robust financial outlook.
People must be listening.
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