EPISD–changing the game

March 20, 2019

The EPISD board of trustees is having a board workshop on Monday, March 25, 2019.

The purpose of the workshop?

(To discuss Board Policy ELA [Local] which would allow the District to authorize partnerships with eligible entities/organizations to provide innovative schooling options for students)

Here is their proposed definition of a partnership:

A PARTNERSHIP MEANS A DISTRICT-AUTHORIZED CAMPUS CHARTER ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATE LAW
IN WHICH THE BOARD CONTRACTS TO OPERATE A DISTRICT CAMPUS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AN OTHER ELIGIBLE ENTITY AS
DEFINED BY LAW.

They do propose to limit who they can partner up with:

THE DISTRICT SHALL PARTNER WITH  NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES, AND INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.  THE DISTRICT SHALL NOT CONSIDER APPLICATIONS FROM CHARTER SCHOOLS.

This is a game changer.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD–please learn to follow the rules

March 18, 2019

Does the EPISD board of trustees do anything right?

The snippet below is taken from the bottom of a recent application to be placed on the election ballot for a district representative:

Notice that the bottom portion is “TO BE COMPLETED BY CITY SECRETARY OR SECRETARY OF THE BOARD”.

Who is the secretary of the board?  From the latest board meeting minutes that they have gotten around to publishing:

Ms. Carrasco is neither the city secretary nor the secretary of the board of trustees.

Do these people even know that there are laws controlling what they do and how they do it?

In this case Texas Election code 144.004.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD–Hiding their plans

March 15, 2019

We have predicted several times that EPISD will have to raise their interest and sinking fund tax rate next year in order to pay for the bonds that the voters approved.

When the voters approved the “penny swap” in the last election they took ten cents per hundred off of the interest and sinking fund tax rate and switched it to the operations and maintenance tax rate.

That moved the operations and maintenance rate to the highest allowed by the state.  They cannot increase it without the state legislature changing the law.  That maximum is $1.17 per hundred dollars of valuation.

It also shrank the amount collected for bond repayment below the amount needed with our current debt.  We wrote about this in EPISD–will they get caught?

On the March 7, 2019 special board meeting agenda item 1.c was listed as “2019-2020 Debt Service Fund Projections“.

We’ve been waiting for this so we clicked on the link for the backup material that would explain what they are thinking of doing.

This is what we got:

They don’t want us to know, especially before the May elections.

We deserve better

Brutus

 


EPISD–district 6

March 13, 2019

Some citizens have raised a concern about the residency facts relating to a candidate for EPISD’s district 6 seat.

The candidate, Mr. Freddy Khlayel-Avalos, seems to have a significant history of involvement with several community causes and might prove to be a dedicated board member.

His voter registration shows his home to be at his parent’s house on Canyon Run (district 6).

He owns a house on Centennial (district 6) that he may be renting out.

He shows his mailing address to be on Silver Springs in an apartment complex (district 7).

We invite him to clarify the situation for us.  We don’t want someone who appears to be a good candidate to lose votes because of misunderstandings about his residence.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD at it again

March 12, 2019

In EPISD reinventing the wheel we mentioned an agenda item that would have allowed the district to spend more than a half million dollars to have a company write a software program that would be an “all-in-one enrollment solution”.  The money was to be for the first year of the effort.

Evidently Mr. Dan Wever noticed the item and contacted some board members who pulled the item off of the agenda.

The Times wrote EPISD audit finds ‘indicators of vendor favoritism’ related to bond contract in January of 2018.

Now we see an agenda item for a project that was not bid but that someone wanted to give to a vendor whose name was not even published.

We deserve better

Brutus


Texas open meetings

March 11, 2019

The Times published an editorial the other day that I agreed with.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals evidently invalidated the portion of the Texas Open Meetings Act that specified criminal penalties for members of government boards that arrange meetings with less than a quorum in order to avoid the requirement to make the meeting open to the public.

The Times editorial told us that our Texas Governor has written a letter to state board appointees and state agency chiefs telling them to “continue to follow the spirit” of the Texas Open Meetings Act without regard to the appeals court ruling.

Unfortunately our local governments are now free to meet in private and discuss public business as long as they do not have a quorum present.

We hope that our Texas legislature will take action soon to shore up the Open Meetings Act.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD candidate forum

March 5, 2019

This came in from Xavier Miranda:

An invitation is extended for folks to attend our Community Education Forum for EPISD School Board Candidates. 
The role of potential school board members will determine whether our public education system is dismantled and handed over to those seeking to profit by exploiting our children. Consider the following issues addressed at the following links:
Event:   Community Forum for EPISD Board Candidates
Date:     Thursday, April 4, 2019
Time:    6 PM to 8 PM
Place:    McCall Neighborhood Center
        3231 Wyoming AV 79903 
The following individuals will be serving as panelists, and will convey issues and questions to the candidates:
Students:         El Paso high school area students
Parent:            Hilda Villegas of Familias Unidas del Chamizal
Parents:          Robert and Jennifer Ardovino
Community:   Amdada Flores and Anna Mares 
Teacher:          Xavier Miranda, teacher in EPISD
 
The following candidates have confirmed attendance:
Austin Feeder Pattern District 3:
Franklin Feeder Pattern District 6
Coronado Feeder Pattern District 7
Subsequent email reminders will include the format and general topics to be addressed.
Thank you for consideration given this invitation.
Best Regards,
Xavier Miranda
El Paso Grassroots

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