Expanding faster than the galaxy

Why is the city working so hard to finance urban sprawl?

We learned the other day that EPISD has decided to close underpopulated  schools in order to save money.

Evidently they have around 30 schools that are running at 65% of capacity or below.  According to the EPISD website they have 94 schools.  That means that nearly 30% of their schools are one-third empty.

Wouldn’t encouraging infill projects help us fill the schools and reduce the need for additional roads, utilities, fire stations and all of the other things that the city does.

Won’t the school district end up having to build new schools to serve the new areas?  Won’t that cost us even more money?

We deserve better



13 Responses to Expanding faster than the galaxy

  1. Build it and they won't come says:

    Growth is at the edges: Socorro, Clint, Canutillo. EPISD and YISD are essentially landlocked with no new families moving in. Piss poor planning by the city that lets developers build pretty much anywhere they can drive a backhoe and dump truck to.


    • Yoli says:

      On the east side, developers are building outside the city limits. The city cannot control that. Maybe the county could…. I don’t know the answer to that. On the west side, yes, the city is getting ready to make more land available for developers. But it will be in the Canutillo District, not EPISD.


      • epkamikazi says:

        Actually i think most of the properties on the east side were bought up at the same time the BRAC was evaluating ELP with developers working to have the areas incorporated. Best way to look at that would be to see which of the MSSG owners own the property between Loop 375 and Red Sands, which the county has already started to put more control over…


      • anonymous says:

        That’s no longer the Canutillo District. It’s the Hunt District.


  2. Yeah, EPISD has the problem that they are limited to population already living within its boundaries, and if that population is not having kids, their school needs will go away. The strange thing is that, if their current enrollment is so low (they did warn about dropping enrollments some time ago), why didn’t their budget planning take that into consideration years ago?


    • Anonymous says:

      Because they assumed that with open enrollment and added amenities, they could reverse the trend by pulling kids in from other districts. They are finally admitting that doesn’t work. And the folks of this district have been saddled with a bond issue that is much greater than this shrinking district needs, so they’ll move their headquarters and add a bunch of stuff to schools that may or may not be needed 10 years down the road.


  3. The Oracle says:

    Close off the top floor(s) with metal gates.
    Reduce number of teachers.
    Otherwise, you’d have to bus the kids to the nearest school, like was done when there were many farms.
    This was sure to happen as the population in some areas get old enough to not have any more NEW kids.
    Once neighborhoods are old and established, not many new families moving in.
    Of course, the long term answer will be “Almost” no school buildings at all. Only some meeting rooms for quarterly tests.
    Online teaching.
    No more “school shootings”.
    Teachers broadcast from any room, any building.
    Teachers see the kids and the kids see the teachers.
    Kids can ask questions and even TYPE out their questions.
    Kids are bused in to give tests maybe.
    (Not all at the same time/ same day, so only a small building/ meeting room is needed.)
    Kind of like Online College.
    For some kids, a One Room classroom can be in any shopping center if they cannot participate at home.
    Teacher is on High Def. Big Screen. One Room Monitor is present at the One Room classroom to insure safety and lock and unlock the doors. (Does not have to be an expensive teacher. Can be a minimum wage Room Monitor.)
    Or like a Day Care for students, but it’s ONE Classroom and the teachers rotate throughout the day, on the Big Screen.
    Giant Schools for 3000 students are a thing of the past.
    Small One Room classrooms in empty/ underused strip shopping centers can be moved as the population changes.
    The technology is available now.

    Things to consider. It’s a changing world.


    • Fed Up says:

      It’s interesting that you think a person responsible for that many kids only deserves minimum wage or that you will find a quality person willing to do that job for minimum wage. I have a better idea. Why don’t you volunteer to do it for free. Better yet, why don’t you run for school board and be a room monitor in your spare time.


      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, my perceptions are based on what executives in margin-sensitive industries make and the travel and expense policies those companies have. We throw money at our public sector employees handing them bonuses that aren’t specified in their contracts. We allow them to take consulting gigs on the side and don’t question whether or not the level of travel is necessary. I believe I’ve seen Cabrera quoted a couple of times mentioning that some of his travel expense choices are necessary to impress the folks at whatever event he is visiting with the importance of EPSID. That kind of statement is pure BS and wouldn’t work in the private sector. The amount of vacation and sick leave we keep adding to contracts is also far greater than what is found in the private sector, plus in many companies sick leave is on an annual use it or lose it basis. There also seems to be an impression among our local hiring boards (most of which are populated with folks who have never had a six figure salary) that the more we pay, the more “important and progressive” El Paso looks. Take a look at some of the highly paid public-sector folks who have left here or tried to leave here (not the ones in jail, the ones who left for other employment). They either can’t get a job that pays equally or they are fired fairly quickly. That plus the ones in jail are a good indication that our hiring and compensation process in this region might benefit from a little reform.


        • Tickedofftaxpayer says:

          Executive salaries in public sector employment in El Paso have pretty much doubled in the last 20 years. Inflation has been low, regular employment wages and salaries have been flat. The only other thing growing faster than public sector executive salaries is public debt. The quality of the decision making and the efficiency of project execution certainty hasn’t improved. Something to think about.


        • Fed Up says:

          Part of the problem is that compensation for top-level executives has skyrocketed to ridiculous levels, while we still expect people at the bottom to work for a subsistence wage. As a result, people who are being paid subsistence wages by both private and public sector employers end up having to rely on food stamps and other safety net programs that are funded by taxpayers, which means that we are subsidizing employers unwilling to pay a reasonable wage. That’s just wrong.


  4. Rico Suave says:

    Sooner or later you run out of other people’s children …


  5. Kamikazi says:

    Infill? Short of taking down existing neighborhoods that employs 1 contractor crew with subs.


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