New math

The news from EPISD sounds like what the news from the city did when they were building the ball park.

Years ago we wrote in Running total about the difference between what we were told by the city and what ultimately happened.

In short the ballpark started off as a $35 million project.

By the time we published Running total  the costs were over $220 million and that was before we learned that the bonds would cost us another $22 million because the city’s financial people did not sell them when they should have.

Now EPISD’s budget woes are the issue of the day locally.  The Times wrote an article where they questioned the $7 million shortfall that the district is now talking about:

“The figure is a difference of about $4 million from the $2.9 million deficit that the district presented at a May 22 budget workshop, less than two weeks ago.”

Hmmm

Later in the article the Times quoted a school board member:

“Back in the day, during the bond, our hope was that we’d be able to get there with bond money,”

He was referring to the $668 million bond that now looks like it will fail to solve their problems.

Who at the district is responsible for the numbers they are publishing?

We deserve better

Brutus

23 Responses to New math

  1. Chico says:

    Waiting for Deputy Dawg, err Tim Holt, to chime in … he usually corrects all of us simpletons … you see folks, it’s really the fault of the Republicans in Austin. They are the reason for these problems.

    ChupaCabrera was a brutal hire. He is thoroughly incompetent and is running EPISD into the ground.

    Like

    • Dan Wever says:

      He did exactly what he was hired to do. Turn a public school system into a Reform education school district. He knew nothing about education but he did know people to sell him programs and software to support his Active Learning and Project Based Learning styles. There was no viable data showing that it would even work but there was plenty of money to spend to Privatize every aspect of the EPISD. Margo got away with his plan as the people of El Paso sat on their hands and brains and let it happen.

      Like

      • ripper1951 says:

        Who profits, though, Dan? If it was Margo’s plan to under-educate every kid in the city, there must be a plan for using them after they claim their diploma. As far as software vendors, I believe the same claim was made of Tafoya. No, education in El Paso took its eye off the prize and decided that they would go with new trends.

        Like

  2. crystal ball says:

    my crystal ball tells me that some of the closed properties will be sold to charter schools or developers at prices favorable to them and that the superintendent and CFO will end up working for both a charter school organization or a developer and maybe both

    Like

  3. Citizen tax payer says:

    I read that EPISD wants to close Moye Elementary for next year. According to the Jacobs report, Moye was built in 2005 and opened in 2006. It was probably a product of the 2003 bond. I’d call it a new school and am surprised to see it being shuttered. Have we even finished paying for that bond yet? A charter school is going to pick themselves up a nice new building at our expense. This is really poor planning!

    Like

  4. Anonymous says:

    The ethical thing to have done was to have announced the full magnitude of school closings and capacity issues prior to the bond issue so that folks could better understand the trends. Instead they got the money and then gave the bad news.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ripper1951 says:

      Ethical thing to do- As we have observed there is nothing ethical or fair about EPISD. They exist to pay huge salaries to administrative personnel, try out all the new toys that other districts rejected or discarded, wiggle out of following state laws on education, and cry poormouth when challenged. School closings should have been announced and completed before asking for the bond. Even the Board of Managers knew closings had to happen.

      Like

      • It's All Good says:

        Even the CFO knew. I’m confused. Earlier you defended the CFO, who was party to this whole thing.

        Like

        • ripper1951 says:

          It’s all good- Defending her actions to get rid of pseudo-financial and accounting types, while replacing them with accountants and true business finance folks. I don’t think the financial picture would have become clearer without these changes. Defending CAC personally? Not a chance. Just sometimes a person gets lucky with the decisions she makes. Her actions at the City and now at EPISD tell me she should not be trusted, although they may endear her with charter schools.

          Like

  5. Dontsendurkidstoepisd says:

    Cabera’s solution is to have more babies and build more homes in episd district. Genius. Notice he doesn’t look inward only outward. It’s our fault episd is in debt. Typical.

    Like

  6. ripper1951 says:

    And let’s look at some of the financials. About 7 years ago, administration at several of the schools stopped student organization fundraising and took on that mantel under the guise of “direction from central office”. So now the candies, sodas, popcorn, ice cream etc all were sold by staff at games and events, with the proceeds going into various school funds. An audit this past spring brought that to light and admin was directed to read the Campus Accounting Manual, which contained requirements for anyone fund raising, and specific bars to administration from fund raising. Requirements and procedures have been there for 15 years or better.

    Like

  7. ripper1951 says:

    In all fairness, EPISD has been in turmoil, replacing many of the financial, accounting, AR/AP folks with people with experience in the real world and degrees in finance. The previous occupants were folks that were friends of friends of friends, some were teachers who moved into a better paying central office job- all were people who learned on the job, “had always done it this way”, and generally were not what you would call financial professionals. Carmen Arrieta Candelaria replaced them with accountants, college trained financial analysts, and financial experts with significant business financial experience.So now you and the rest of the public are beginning to get accurate more actionable information about the true sad mess that EPISD Financials has become. And all of them have questioned the wisdom of the bond, the wisdom of keeping open schools that are underutilized, and just where the heck did previous folks come up with student populations that didn’t even come close to matching reality.

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Ms. Fuzzy Math to the rescue

      Like

    • It's All Good says:

      Either you must be kidding or you must be related to Carmen Arrieta Candelaria or someone on her team.

      “In all fairness,” she is the same “financial professional” who partnered with the former city manager and special interests to load us up with unreasonable debt. Much of that debt was for the benefit of private businesses like Mountainstar. The Quality of Life Bond project estimates also ended up being total BS.

      She also helped to manage the EPISD bond campaign that falsely represented a photo of dilapidated bus to be an EPISD bus when in fact they purchased that photo from a stock photo agency.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        She is especially well know for the accuracy of her estimates on the stadium and QoL bond.

        Like

      • ripper1951 says:

        Not kidding and not related. For 15 years Finance and Accounting made huge mistakes, lost track of funding, couldn’t pass a true financial audit. All because they had folks who weren’t accountants. Who didn’t use simple, defined accounting methods when dealing with the district. They are also the ones who kept predicting an increase in enrollment due to “new and innovative programs”.Now, does that mean she is an angel? Not at all. Behind the scenes she has grabbed for all the power and influence she could get away with. She swept departments under control so she could control them. And the stock photos of dilapidated equipment and campuses came from the PR section, now called Community Engagement. On the dark side, I question the integrity of a district who hires the CFO(Asst Super for Finance etc) a week after her year ban from employment by the district ended. She was on the Board of Managers. EPISD has made some changes for the good in finances. Unfortunately it is like trying to hold back the iceberg that sank the Titanic with a matchstick. And CACle as she is fondly referred to will be passing out the matchsticks.

        Like

        • Anonymous says:

          Her peers in city hall did not like or trust her.

          Like

        • WTF says:

          EPISD should hire one of the Cpa’s from Lauterbach and get rid a Carmen. I doubt she could balance my checkbook. As far as closing schools. close top floors of different ones, put all EPISD Staff in these floors(yes even if you have to spread them out and sell all the Buildings they have to Commercial Real estate. Having EPISD closer to real world teachers and schools might open their eyes a bit and hopefully get rid of this elitist attitude. If this causes some to quit then so be it. replace them with local real world people.

          Like

          • ripper1951 says:

            The idea of putting central office administrators et al back in schools has a tremendous amount of merit. The common complaint is they have been out of the classroom so long they are no longer in touch, familiar with the dynamics and challenges. Most administrators and Ed Ctr denizens however were escaping the classroom and students, lured by the promise of bigger money and less responsibility.

            Like

          • anonymous says:

            There’s a reason why they will never consider located admin staff in schools. It’s for their own personal safety. They don’t want to be in a school if and when unfortunate incidents occur.

            Like

          • WTF says:

            then hire a policeman to be on the top floor with a sniper rifle and let him watch for these idiots coming to shoot up the school. why should they have nay more security than teachers ?

            Like

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