Runoff election day

May 20, 2019

The runoff elections have been scheduled for Saturday, June 15, 2019.

We deserve better.

Brutus


EPISD voting

May 17, 2019

Evidently you do not have to live in district 7 of EPISD in order to be a board member representing that district.

In the spirit of the situation would it be ok for those of us who live in other districts to go ahead and vote in the upcoming district 7 runoff?

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD graduation ceremonies on Memorial Day

May 13, 2019

Dan Wever sent this in:

  • Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

He asks “Why did the EPISD schedule 3 graduations on this day?”

We deserve better

Brutus


Penny swap or dime increase?

May 8, 2019

There is a problem with the “penny swap” that the voters approved for EPISD.

Quite simply there is not enough money now being generated by the interest and sinking fund (I&S) rate to pay EPISD’s debts.

Last year the voters approved reducing the I&S rate by 10 cents per hundred dollars of property valuation and increasing the maintenance and operations rate the same amount (M&O) thus leaving the combined rate the same as the previous year.

Then since the district did not have enough money to make their bond payments (I&S) they took money out of an existing fund balance.  In short they took our I&S money over a period of years and did not pay down all of the debt they could, thus creating a fund and increasing our borrowing costs.

You can see that the new I&S tax rate only generated $29 million.  They needed $40.1 million to pay their debt payments.

What they did was reduce their fund balance from $30 million to $18.9 million.  They can probably do this again next year but then they will run out of money.

They cannot take the money from their maintenance and operations fund.

The Texas attorney general ruled last year that:

“Districts do not have authority to increase the maintenance and operations tax rate to create a surplus to pay debt service
with maintenance and operations tax revenue. See TEX. TAX CODE § 26.012(16) (defining “maintenance and operations” as “any lawful purpose other than debt service for which a taxing unit may spend property tax revenues” (emphasis added)).”

The net result is that the district will have to raise the I&S rate either this year or next.

The voters got hoodwinked.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 

 


Reading, writing, but no arithmetic

May 3, 2019

Take a look at this slide from the Tuesday, April 30, 2019 EPISD board meeting:

Most of us probably did not realize that local revenue of $32 million plus state revenue of $3 million adds up to $50 million.

That’s because it does not.

This kind of sloppiness at the board level tells us a lot about why we are where we are.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD situation

May 1, 2019

A loyal reader with sent this in:

EPISD has decided on a course of action this year for the high schools that is bound to have an impact.  In past years, high school students during final exams (EOC finals) have been able to come in, review, and then leave if they were exempt from the exam (90 or better). If they had to take the final, they could leave as soon as they finished. Leave as in leave school. EPISD decided to keep all students in their classes this year, but not tell them that the finals process and procedures had changed until the day of the finals.  Keeping this info from students is really dumb, but keeping it from parents is inexcusable.  And making a change this late just confirms they are a district without a plan.

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While not earth shattering it does seem strange that they would do this at the last minute.

Many of the EPISD employees have told me stories recently about EPISD officials that are dictatorial and turn vengeful when confronted.

We deserve better

Brutus


Pay attention to the EPISD board of trustees election

April 30, 2019

Jaime Abeytia makes an interesting observation in this blog piece on the Lion Star Blog.

If you live on the west side of El Paso and intend to vote in the EPISD election I suggest that you read it.

We deserve better

Brutus


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