In the wrong place

Jaime Abeyta over at The Lion Star Blog wrote a piece recently that contained this:

If you recall I wrote a piece about how its completely stupid that superintendents sit on the dais with the elected trustees of a district. There is no practical reason for doing so and quite frankly, its actually really bad policy that trustees don’t show the backbone to make the superintendent sit with the rest of staff.

The reality is that Trustees are elected to represent the people and there is only one employee the Trustees supervise – the superintendent. The fact that they allow the superintendent to sit with the elected members of the board as though they are somehow a peer of those elected by the people, is a big problem. How is the community to have any faith that you’ll hold the supers accountable when they sit up on the dais like they are one of you? And not only do they sit there with the trustees, they almost always sit right next to the board president, in a place of more prominence than the rest of the actual elected members of the board.

Like I said before, people would lose their mind if Tommy Gonzalez or the County Administrator sat up on the dais with the elected body.



I agree with Mr. Abeyta and my agreeing has nothing to do with the current superintendent.

If George Washington was the superintendent I would still say that his place is with the staff, not on the dais.

We deserve better


14 Responses to In the wrong place

  1. John Dungan says:

    Well, keep in mind that the highest paid person in the room is usually that very same Super, and maybe it begins to make sense. Personally, I don’t understand why our local districts always feel the need to pay these people way out of proportion to their real value.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    In El Taxo what difference does it make? Cabrera pulls the strings of the board puppets. Whatever HE tells THEM to do. “Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full……………………..and they just continue to follow his idiocy and continue to tax, waste, spend, tax some more. He could sit out in his limo with a cell phone. Same results. THEY are just co-conspirators in his Contractor, “Friends and family” give away of taxpayer money. For Cabrera, EPISD is just a “Bizness”. His retirement “Plan”.


  3. Anonymous says:

    The city manager does not sit with the mayor and city council. Yet.

    Cabrera is more preoccupied with appearances. This is the guy who refers to his senior staff as his cabinet as though he is a head of state.

    I would sit wherever I was told to sit if I had a contract that paid me what those guys are paid.


  4. Have you ever heard of Google? says:

    Good luck changing how almost every single school district in the United States does things. Superintendents will sit where their bosses want them to sit.

    It is traditional for the super to sit with the board because he or she prepares the school board agenda, is responsible for carrying out school board mandates, is essentially the public face of the district, and is the liaison between the board and the district personnel.


    • Anonymous says:

      If he were the true public face of the district, he would appear at graduations and would not have a spokesperson buffering him from hard questions.


    • Brutus says:

      Respectfully I reply,

      The dais should be reserved for the elected members of the board. Staff should sit to the side.

      The city manager does not sit on the dais.
      The county administrator does not sit on the dais.
      No United States department secretary sits on the dais when presenting before congress.

      You are of course correct that many school districts let their superintendent sit on the dais.

      I don’t believe they should.

      Thank you for your participation on the blog.



    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t really care how every other school district in the U.S. does things. That doesn’t mean El Paso can’t do things the right way and the way we want.


    • Dan Wever says:

      The Super and the President of the Board make up the agenda. The EPISD does over 90% of its business on the Consent agenda anyway, the public never knows what most of the business is even about.
      The public does not for the most part even understand what a non-profit is or does. Does anyone really think that people are going to invest in non-profits that sell stuff for our children? Yes, they are just really great people wanting to help our students succeed. Hardley do you know why non-profits are so popular?
      It is because they pay no taxes! And that is also why the Foundations are able to sponsor so many of them. 😦


  5. jeff says:

    I was president of a local non-profit. The executive director sat next to me in meetings. I often needed to lean over and ask him a question. I think everyone is making too big a deal of this.


    • Apples and Oranges says:

      You’re talking apples and oranges, except that the mindset of non-profits is a lot like that of government entities. They’re spending other people’s money. EPISD has a budget of $600 million, which I suspect is little more than your non-profit’s budget. Any questions at a public meeting of a governmental entity should be asked and answered openly.


  6. Old Fart says:

    This is not an issue I ‘shit my pants’ over, because city and county governments are much different than school districts.

    School trustees official capacity is limited to specific times and actions. Trustees have to be aware of the limits of their official duties, as they can easily be accused of ‘micromanaging,’ a complaint that can be surfaced to the TEA. YISD has gotten in a lot of trouble, because some past trustees have not understood and respected the limits of their power.

    Just the fact this issue is brought up, causes me to wonder if some people understand the differences and limits between school districts and city and county government?


    • Fed Up says:

      Huh? WTF? EPISD has two things in common with city and county government ……. running up debt and taxes and spending money without sufficient accountability. Cabrera and EPISD trustees recently used fake photos and other misleading information to SELL a new bond that saddled taxpayers with $650 million in additional debt. That’s not “limited.”


      • Old Fart says:

        The governance models are different and where the superintendent sits is a bull shit argument. Now if you want to have a ‘viagra disfunction’ over the superintendent sitting arrangement, knock yourself out!


      • Charles R. Dickerson says:

        Exactly right, FedUp..  The Board, “Trustees”(????),  Cabrera are no better than during the Lorenzo Garcia crime wave.  THEY have OUR money and do what ever THEY want.   To get MORE, THEY simply increase OUR taxes.    All WE get is an  OVER PAID, under worked Superintendent, who lives a multi-millionaire life-style and does nothing, but tax, waste, spend, tax some more.   Johnny, Suzie, Juan still can’t read , write or do math, but the Board minions just make Cabrera RICHER.  


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