In the wrong place

June 23, 2019

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.

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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

Brutus


EPISD–pay raise issues

June 3, 2019

I heard talk about a potential new conflict between EPISD and its teachers the other day.

I don’t have details yet but what I think I heard is that the state legislature allocated pay raises for teachers and EPISD is planning to deliver them in a manner that is not as good for teachers with more longevity as was planned by the legislature.

Can anyone fill us in on the facts?

Brutus


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


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