EPISD teacher cuts?

Many of the EPISD employees are afraid to speak up in public.

This note came in from one of them:

Rumor is that tenure/seniority are out the window and principals are getting to “pick” which means if you challenged your principal in any way, you are in danger of getting cut.  Each secondary campus estimated to lose 6-10 teachers.  The reason they might be getting away with it is because we are a District of Innovation BS.

I know…was displaced at my Elementary campus and I know I was not the last one in.
Can’t seem to get a position in another district because I have many years of service and my salary is too high….hmmmm.  If I could retire, I would.
Question:  What happens to the teachers on the “displaced” list if they don’t find a position for them?
They used to be sent to the Science Resource Center and now that’s a goner too.
I smell a RIF in disguise or a bigger one in the future.  We had one about 5 years ago with central office staff getting slips to either accept a demotion or leave.
We deserve better.
Garcia is looking really good again.
Dissappointed in the system

57 Responses to EPISD teacher cuts?

  1. al bundy says:

    Tenure and seniority went out the window many years ago. During or shortly after the Garcia years, I forget.

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  2. Anon says:

    There are several hundred EPISD teachers who choose to have their children schooled in neighboring districts. While that choice of course is theirs, it certainly doesn’t help the district’s low numbers when employees don’t support their employer. Some send them to private or parochial schools.
    Since EPISD is an open district, these teachers could bring their kids over and have them in an EPISD campus.
    If they say the other districts/schools are “better” what does that say about them as teachers?

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    • Ouch says:

      touche’

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    • Anonymous says:

      Come on Cabrera, you have vendors that do that kind of work for you, you don’t have to do it yourself! 🙂

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    • Chico says:

      No worries. We are spending 500K on marketing. Student numbers should increase.

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      • Jill Calloway says:

        So your proposal would be to not do anything and let enrollment continue to decline? I’m not saying I agree with the dollar amount but I do feel something should be done to try and get more students into the district.

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        • Common Sense says:

          In business, if you don’t have enough customers, you make cuts. You terminate managers and line employees, you reduce costs, and if necessary you shut down some stores. End of discussion.

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          • Dan Wever says:

            Common Sense, who says that education or our schools should be run as a business. There is no profit in special education students, no profit in sports, no profit in working with slower children, no profit in working with deaf students. In short, you just cannot run your schools like a business because the bottom line is student lives not dollars.

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          • Mike Schwartz says:

            I disagree. Many businesses are run as not for profit or non-profit. EPISD doesn’t even come close to operating in a logical manner. They obtain and spend money on the latest gadgets shown at trade shows, rely on local rather than nationally peer-reviewed research and show poor results with any initiative undertaken in the last 20 years. It’s time to run it as a business.

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          • Harley Quinn says:

            You also reinvite your business model, look for ways to bring in new customers and expand your reach.

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          • Mike Schwartz says:

            Harley, at EPISD instead of reinventing their business plan, they keep doing the same thing over and over, with new lights, bells and whistles.

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          • Carl Encargado says:

            Dan, I seem to recall a lot of business decisions from you when you were on the board. Those in glass houses should not throw stones.

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          • Bruce Linterna says:

            Mike,
            When you say they are doing the same thing over and over with we bells and whistles are you referencing the educational or business side? It seems closings schools would be a new option that has not been done in the past. Along with increasing class sizes.

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          • Mike Schwartz says:

            I’m talking primarily education approaches and methodology. However, remember they have closed schools- I think Roosevelt and Alamo were closed in 2007. Wainwright and a couple of others. Now, closing massive numbers is different. Class sizes have fluctuated over the last 15 years in middle and elementary. They have gotten away with it by averaging. If some classes were 6 or 8 and the others were 45……….

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        • Mike Schwartz says:

          Enrollment will continue to decline. Demographics are changing rapidly as folks choose where in town to live when they move here and what schools their kids go to. My daughter just moved back. She tried EPISD for a year with her kids and decided next year they go to SISD. People are moving out of EPISD or when moving into El Paso, they choose SISD, Canutillo or other areas. How would you try to get more students into the district? Door to door campaign? Show that EPISD is doing better than the other districts when in fact they are not? Cal Worthington-type TV ads about the District of Innovation? Until EPISD gets down and lean, then goes back to basics so the students actually can learn, enforces discipline, and shows honesty in their dealings- nothing will stop the hemorrhage of students.

          Like

        • Chico says:

          Jill, I don’t object to a well-designed marketing campaign, assuming it is backed up by a consistent, quality product.

          However, we did not get this from EPISD.

          – The I-10 billboard was illegible due to the small font.
          – The campaign also didn’t have a cohesive message.
          – Why should a parent send his/her child to EPISD? The campaign should have answered this question cogently and persuasively.

          Moreover … it’s hard to market a tainted product. The district’s primary sales person (the superintendent) is an absentee buffoon. And, the board of trustees is more invested in playing political games with district resources than leading … would you trust your child to this leadership? You have to have your house in order before marketing will work.

          Don’t get me wrong, the district has good people and good teachers, but their hard work gets lost amongst lousy leadership.

          El Paso’s wifi Santa Claus and Cabrera sycophant, Tim Holt, already lectured the respondents on this site as to why marketing is so important. Of course, in his endless arrogance, he neglected to acknowledge that EPISD’s marketing campaign was a farce. From a technical standpoint, undergraduate marketing students could have done far better and brought more students to the district.

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          • Mike Schwartz says:

            Chico, they couldn’t tell teachers why either. And the marketing campaign was run by????????????

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          • Concerned Tax Payer says:

            Tim Holt is guilty of multiple failures in EPISD. His push for “free” electronic books and for laptops to all students has been a big failure, but he refuses to acknowledge he messed up. It is easier for him to blame anyone else for the lack of success.

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          • fool me once says:

            The best marketing for EPISD would be to stay out of the news and keep their superintendent out of the news. It’s never good. Why would someone send their kid to a school in a district that has such a bad image and in which the superintendent doesn’t care enough to attend a single graduation ceremony. He is the Scott Pruitt of education.

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        • fool me once says:

          The last EPISD advertisement that I remember was a mailer to promote the bond. It was deceptive and misleading. They used a purchased image of a dilapidated school bus that was not an EPISD bus to try to convince people that EPISD’s fleet was run down and needed lots of new buses. If EPISD buses were truly in bad condition, they could have easily taken a photo of one of their own buses. I also knew that none of the EPISD buses I saw day in and day out were not in bad condition. So, no, I don’t trust any information or advertising that comes out of EPISD.

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          • Dan Wever says:

            Foole me once, what you say is true and the bus picture was put out before the bond election so this company was paid $250,000 to work on the bond issue and that is against the law. Then the EPISD used them again after the election just to show that they were not hired for the bond election. They will spend millions to cover up hundreds of thousands. 😦

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      • Dan Wever says:

        To all you business expert that say the EPISD should be run as a business and it is ok to run an expensive marketing campaign in order to get more students from other districts.
        Let’s look at 2 types of taxes that school districts receive and apply figures to them that are close to being real figures.
        State tax that provides about 52% of the total money spent in the EPISD per year per student. Say this is $5,200
        Local Property tax which provides about 31% of the money spent in the EPISD. Say this is $3,100 per student per year.
        So, an in-district student will receive $8,300 from these two taxes.
        Now what happens when the EPISD spends $300,000 on a marketing campaign to get students from other districts to come to the EPISD. (A great business decision getting more customers)
        Now, what happens when the EPISD convinces a student to come to the EPISD?
        The State sends the new student’s State Tax money (State ADA Average Daily Attendance) $5,200 to the EPISD, so they have $5,200 of the money needed to educate this student.
        The EPISD receives no property tax money for this student.
        So, as business people you should be able to see that you are going to have to educate this student with just $5,200. Now if you can do this great but if you can do it with this student why can’t you do it will all of the students and give the property tax people back their money?
        OH! You say you are just going to blend this new student into the regular school population but wait, won’t that mean that the EPISD property tax payers are helping educate students from other districts?
        I bet if the taxpayers of the EPISD find out this is going on they will complain. But maybe they are all businessmen and understand business better than I do. Or maybe they just want their tax dollars going to educate anyone as long as it is for the kids! 😊

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        • Mike Schwartz says:

          You still are living in the past with no plan for the future. No one said it was ok to run an expensive marketing plan. “The EPISD receives no property tax money for this student”.That’s incorrect and you know better. There is an offset and it is applied. Takes awhile but it still gets done. Dan, Dan, Dan, I expected solutions from you but all we get is that you are adverse and opposed to the district as a business. I guess you want it to be run the way it was when you were on the Board? That failed during that time too didn’t it. “I bet if the taxpayers of the EPISD find out this is going on they will complain.” Why do you think they don’t know? The bottom line that I see is no solutions from you other than, put Democrats in office again, find a well meaning educator as the patsy for superintendent, and throw more money down the well. Why don’t we try running it as a business, holding the teachers accountable for content mastery, holding administrators responsible for discipline, holding parents accountable for attendance and student behavior. And not passing thee students who do not pass exams, much less state based stupid exams. Hey you all tried everything else for the past forty years and it didn’t work. Maybe running it as a business will.

          Like

          • Dan Wever says:

            Mike, Mike, Mike, as usual, you portend to know everything about anything, when in fact, you know a little about a lot. I said, “The EPISD receives no property tax money for this student” and you replied “That’s incorrect and you know better. There is an offset and it is applied. Takes a while but it still gets done.” Well Mike, can you explain why I am wrong and where this “offset” comes from? And while you are at it maybe you can explain why when I was on the board it “failed” as you have stated. We did have to fire a Superintendent but it was needed and we accomplished doing it. I don’t know why you expect me to come up with answers to all the school problems, I am not your elected representative. Your post seems to insinuate that I had something to do with hiring Cabrera which is so far from the truth I bet the keys on your keyboard were pushing against you when you wrote it. 😊

            Like

          • Mike Schwartz says:

            Dan, Dan. It is a shame that folks like you use insults and obfuscations to cover their embarrassment. Worse yet, you use misdirection.I’m not the one yelling that the sky is falling, that charters are taking over, etc. I seriously pity you Dan. I wish you luck in the future.

            Like

          • Bruce Linterna says:

            And that is the point Dan. You seem to have forgotten how hard a public service job can be. Why don’t you use your time to help instead of tear down. How do you want to be remembered?

            Like

        • Bruce Linterna says:

          Dan makes it sound like everything was wonderful when he was on the Board with EPISD. His reality is a little jaded. Dan, you were fortunate there were not blogs while you were on the board otherwise you would have seen all the complaints against your actions.

          Like

          • Dan Wever says:

            Such as what Bruce? Any examples or just playing like you know something!

            Like

          • Bruce Linterna says:

            We could start with the obvious bias towards teacher unions due to Francis’ role. Of course we know you will claim you were fair and impartial.

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          • Dan Wever says:

            Bruce, Obvious bias, if it was obvious please give me an example of this bias! But you are right I did not think I was biased especially since I only had one vote and could do nothing without 3 more votes. So if there was bias it was spread around the trustees. That is one of the problems with running for any public office, you can never make everyone happy. There will always be people that say negative things about you regardless of how hard you try.

            Like

    • Dan Wever says:

      ANON: Where do you get your figures of several hundred teachers have their children going to other area schools other than the district they work?

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    • Mike Schwartz says:

      They could, but why would they if they don’t live in the district. And their choice of schools is their choice: private, parochial, charter or homeschool. How dare you suggest they show loyalty to an employer this way.

      Like

  3. duh says:

    other people lose their jobs every day. welcome to the real world. i really don’t understand the incessant bellowing about any change in a teacher’s employment status. your job is supposed to be about educating children but all you do is constantly whine and cry about pay and how you are treated. wa wa wa, that is getting old, and you don’t even work the whole year.

    Like

  4. John Conwell says:

    While the teachers have some responsibility in all this, it is surprising that not post has addressed the District or the Trustees…

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    • Anonymous says:

      John,

      You are correct. Previously teachers and administrators at both the campus and central office were mentioned but not trustees.

      Ok, so now that we have identified all to blame, what should be done to solve the problem? Thoughts? Ideas?

      Like

    • Look in the Archives says:

      You must be a newcomer to this blog. Look at the comments on previous posts about EPISD. No shortage of criticism of the administration and board members. A lot of it has been very pointed and named names.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        The point I am making is that beyond blaming people and naming names is there more to it or do we just complain and continue status quo?

        I know for the negative nellies it is not nearly as fun to look for solutions but if that is not the intent then what is the point?

        We know what the problem is, we know who is to blame but what is the solution? Otherwise enrollment continues to decline, schools close and teachers get cut.

        Like

  5. Really? says:

    Rumor is that tenure/seniority are out the window and principals are getting to “pick” which means if you challenged your principal in any way, you are in danger of getting cut.

    Why speculate on rumor? You are an educated person. Go read what the policy documents state. They are publically available.

    “The reason they might be getting away with it is because we are a District of Innovation BS.“

    Or they might be “getting away with it” because they are the employer and have that right….you know, like in the real world?

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  6. Anonymous, with all his/her verbose comments, continues to overlook two things. One, it is not the classroom teachers’ responsibility to answer for declining enrollment, nor was it their fault in any way. Two, and more important, isn’t EPISD the district that very recently passed a yuge bond issue to build more schools and accomplish numerous other improvements? After years of declining enrollment? Didn’t Dori say something about how all that money was going to help “build innovative schools and revive classrooms?”
    So, what’d they do with it?

    Like

    • John thinks teachers are helpless says:

      John, poor John. Always putting the teacher as the victim instead of the solution. Teachers, just like administrators and central office staff all have a part to play in declining enrollment and stopping it. Getting on blogs and whining about EPISD will not help the public perception which is one of many reasons parents are pulling students to leave the district. What is the collective we doing to change that? If the teachers are not part of the solution to get kids back into EPISD schools who will be part of the solution? Years ago, a public business was going under. The owner called a meeting to explain the situation. The employees took a pay cut in exchange for profit sharing. The company began to thrive because all levels got involved. Can we not expect that of our educational institutions?

      Some people do in fact leave a school or district because of a teacher. A bad experience has long term effects. Mind blown huh John? Again not saying it is all teachers fault.

      In regards to the bond yes they did pass it and the intent, from the beginning, was to consolidate schools and move students into newer buildings. At the end of the day there would be fewer older smaller schools.

      Like

    • what Did they do with the bond money? says:

      John,

      I had to look real hard to answer your question about EPISD Bond money. It took me about. 6 seconds to go to episd.org and click “Bond”.

      Here is the link:
      https://www.episd.org/episdbond2016

      You’re welcome

      Like

    • Still Anonymous says:

      John,

      So EPISD employees are afraid to speak up. Isn’t this where you’re jump in with your usual criticism about how you think everyone should speak up even if they lose their job? And if they feel they can’t speak up, they should quit and find another job? Or are government employees immune from your criticism?

      Like

      • Everybody here is so busy working out what they want to say that they seldom pay attention to what has already been said! One comment reads as if the commenter thinks that the sole reason enrollment numbers are down is because people, especially teachers themselves, are “pulling their kids out of EPISD schools” and putting them into other districts’ schools! Are y’all not aware of the stagnant growth in this city and county?! Anyone who “left a district because of a teacher” is/was just as big a fool as y’all who twist my words! If y’all do not understand the problem (and, that seems evermore likely from your posts), maybe you ought to reserve judgment. Personally, I no longer care, since I don’t even live within that district’s boundaries.

        Like

        • Still Anonymous says:

          No, John. You were so busy working out what you wanted to say that you didn’t answer the questions that I asked.

          Like

        • Johns best friend says:

          John,

          If you personally no longer care then why knock the district and it’s teachers? Why bash the bond when you won’t take a few moments to look up what is occurring? As far as not looking at enrollment across the city I think that was the point being made that the collective needs to look at what can be done to revitalize enrollment in one district.

          “Anyone who “left a district because of a teacher” is/was just as big a fool as y’all who twist my words! If y’all do not understand the problem (and, that seems evermore likely from your posts), maybe you ought to reserve judgment“

          You mention reserving judgement right after you call people fools for leaving a district because of a teacher. Wouldn’t that by definition be passing judgement? Oh but I forgot…you don’t care 🙂

          Like

  7. Really? says:

    “Can’t seem to get a position in another district because I have many years of service and my salary is too high….hmmmm.“

    Really? Really? Is that the only reason? Maybe you interviewed poorly? Maybe you didn’t fit with team you would be working with? Maybe your answers for a vision of education didn’t fit the schools vision?

    The more I see teachers posting here it make me have less respect for them. Are all this whiny and delusional? People don’t get jobs for lots of reasons. Most people look at themselves to see what to improve upon. This teacher says it because of her salary and years of experience. Really?

    Like

  8. Tired of the complaining says:

    EPISD has never implemented a RIF. Five years ago there was a reorganization not a RIF. Central office staff are either on a year to year contract or no contract at all. There is no guarantee of future position based on current position…..you know, like the real world as mentioned previously. If you are going to post please make sure it is accurate.

    Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the real world. Educators have lived in a sheltered world for way to long. It has not been until recently that they have had to worry about homeschool, private schools and now charter schools. This is what happens in business when your product is deemed inferior by the consumer, they go somewhere else. The district suggested a door to door campaign to go and encourage families who left to come back. The teacher organizations argued teachers would have to be compensated with money or time to go do that. Brilliant plan…the group that has the influence to bring students back to the district won’t help unless they get paid and then complain they are getting displaced because of too few students. Nobody seemed upset with small classs. Simple economics should have indicated that was not sustainable. People are stressed because they still have a job just maybe not at their preferred location. In the real world people get fired if the demand isn’t there.

    Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    Nobody wanted to close elementary campuses. Remember that? Chances are some secondary staff fought and argued against it. The reality is this is a district with declining enrollment. There are only so many options to address that: close schools, reduce staff through altering ratio at secondary schools since you cannot at elementary up to 4th grade due to state law, raise taxes to keep smaller class sizes. The public (and school staff) spoke loudly against closing schools. I think we can all guess where the public stands on raising taxes so that is out. Sounds like this is the next available option.

    Like

    • Mike Schwartz says:

      Anon- Good call. I do not think however that they have given up on closing schools, or whittling down the “renovations” outlined for the bond to the various schools. I think we are seeing a district in extremis.

      Like

  11. Mike Schwartz says:

    When last I looked, the policies were so confusing and numerous that EPISD can do anything to anyone at will. It looks like qualifications tops the list now. Teachers at my last school who were displaced (surplused?) were invited to apply for open positions at the job fair and many were accepted into the new positions. Teachers who couldn’t be placed remained “staff teachers” until HR could find a place. Now, however with the new emails circulating? Perhaps after this week, more emails will serve to further confuse.

    Like

  12. Anonymous says:

    If there is not a position for a teacher they are moved to a staff position and as openings come up you either go interview for it as an involuntary transfer or you could be placed somewhere as an involuntary transfer. If you have questions go to HR and ask for clarification.

    Like

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