EPISD announced that they are going to close some schools that are underpopulated.
The school board president is telling us that they need to do this to save money. In the same conversation:
“He said each school closure could save the district more than $1 million per year, adding that the funding could be used for employee pay and technology. “
How are they cutting costs when they plan to turn around and spend the money on payroll and computers?
Further he evidently said:
“the district has “exhausted all other efforts to cut costs,” saying the district slashed $10 million from central office last year.”
All other efforts
The only one exhausted here is me and that’s from listening to nonsense like this.
There is still an enormous amount of waste that should be cut.
We deserve bettr
Closing the schools should have been done before a bond election. And it was discussed many times, with the outcome of “politically unfeasible”. Look at what closing the schools listed will do to the boundaries of the trustees’ districts. Now look at what occurs if you eliminate the schools listed for consolidation. The plans and costs for consolidation – plans have changed drastically from what was touted to what is intended. Money allocated has been drastically reduced, resulting in re-drawing of plans. (There’s a charge for that). Best guess? Next step will be closing those schools plus the consolidation list. Then re-drawing attendance boundaries. Then re-drawing trustee district boundaries, eliminating a trustee or two. Then hiring more central office mini-directors.
Ripper, closing neighborhood schools would be a terrible idea. When you allow money to be the bottom line instead of student welfare and education somebody is going to get screwed and it will not be the district.
Dan, operating a school is a fixed cost no matter whether it has 40 percent or 100 percent enrollment. The difference would be maintenance for 200 children versus 400 children. Closing underutilized schools is no different than closing a business outlet that sees far less traffic than the other outlets of the business. Now make your argument for why its a terrible idea, other than teachers and staff will be displaced and possibly RIF’d.
Money has been being spent on buildings. What most people do not realize is that the 667 million dollar bond issue was to help change an educational philosophy. The bond issue changed from a Middle school concept to a K-12 Concept. In the new buildings, we also got tables where students can sit around move around instead of sitting in those old chairs in a line with a teacher up in front of the class. Of course, all the vendors tell us how much greater and how much smarter the students will be. Has anyone checked to see how ACTIVE LEARNING is working? Here are the final Actual figures of how much money was spent on
Facilities Maintenance and Operation Function 51
This function encompasses those activities concerned with keeping the physical plant open, comfortable, and safe for use, and keeping the grounds, buildings, and equipment in an effective working condition and state of repair.
Year ALL FUNDS-PLANT MAINTENANCE/OPERA EXPEND, FCT51
OK Dan. No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of friggin money. So what’s your point about those huge numbers? You list a bunch of numbers, but don’t say whether you think they are acceptable, too high, or too low.
Dan, if the 667 million was to change an educational philosophy, the taxpayers got hoodwinked. It was billed as bringing buildings up to snuff so students didn’t have to worry about ceilings falling in, or pipes that burst, or water that is slimy. It was billed as a cost savings measure to better utilize under-utilized schools and make students proud to come to a gleaming, shiny building. You list general maintenance but nowhere can I find figures that show maintenance requests and requirement versus maintenance actually performed. A southside middle school in 2004 had firemain pipes corrode and a hose station burst, flooding a major building. It took 4 hours for crews to shut off the water. Their repairs? Capped the firemains, isolated them, drained them, and warned folks not to fill them again. To this day those firemains are non-functional because the district didn’t want to re-pipe. Administrators were directed not to make repair calls for major repairs unless student safety was an issue. Boilers got repaired but hot water to various parts of schools has been cut off because of the corrosive effect of hot water in pipes. Result- only the nurses offices have hot water for kids to wash their hands.
No Dan, I disagree. EPISD needed to make business decisions in closing schools. Because the business of the district is education. And you cannot deliver an education if the major worry is whether or not paychecks will bounce.
Brutus, when they say that money save from one area will be used for another does not mean that that other area is a new expense or cost, you know. What it usually means is that even more money will not be needed for that other expense (like computers and salaries). I’m surprised that you appear to not know this.
Number one rule in government : You NEVER cut budget. You might cut some costs, but at the end of the year you spend your budget so you don’t risk getting less in the next cycle. Been there and seen it.
The spin is out of control. Weren’t they promising (I remember it because I didn’t think it was legal) to buy computers with bond issue money?
Notice that Cabrera has been keeping a low profile. He is planning his exit. I’m betting that he filed his complaint against Byrd to lay the groundwork for an early exit and contract settlement that, like the city attorney’s settlement, will result in him getting more than is called for in his contract.
In Texas school districts if a Superintendent gets a buy out then the state only allows 1 years salary to be paid to him and anything over that comes out of next years state payment dollar for dollar. Why did Trustees keep him with 5 more years of contracts all the time.
There are exceptions, Dan. I don’t believe he is positioning for exit. I do believe he’s positioning Suzy Byrd for exit though.
Ripper1951 What do you mean there are exceptions? The law is the law.
I do not think he is looking to leave either but when you have a 5-year contract worth $368,000 cash and benefits worth over $200,000 who would want to leave his clutch of golden eggs. I do not think he will be paying much attention to anyone. He is now fully in charge and if you don’t like it too bad.
Where is Cabrera? Shouldn’t he be the one driving this? #wheresCabrera
I thought Deputy Dawg said that the hundreds of thousands spent on marketing would increase enrollment … Dawg, please explain.
Chico, how do you market a school that has no core programs that would attract out of district students and parents?
Ripper, Education is not a business and should not be treated as one. The Fire and Police departments are not businesses and also should not be treated as such. Here is one article among hundreds of articles telling why neighborhood schools are good and better for our children. Think about the public education’s special education students. Should they be treated like a business commodity? Of course not.