EPISD Didn't Vote Yes on Cuts; Now What?


POSTED: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 4:43pm

UPDATED: Monday, May 16, 2011 - 5:12pm

EL PASO – So, now what? That's what many people are asking after the El Paso school board's surprise decision against more budget cuts.

Two elementary schools and hundreds of jobs were spared. So, it begs the question: how will El Paso schools continue to meet expenses, when the state is cutting more than 20-million-dollars in funding?

The board is back to square one. The EPISD may lose millions of dollars in state funds, but the board was not able to agree on cuts to make up for that. Patricia Hughes was one of the three trustees who said the board should have closed the two elementary schools, Schuster and Zavala.

“It's not fair to the rest of the district that those small schools exist,” said Hughes.

Since school closures and job cuts were rejected, what other options are out there?

“It could mean other cuts, or what we don't want to do is hit our fund balance anymore, and that's another choice,” added Hughes.

The bottom line is, we don't know what could be cut next. But one woman, who works as a school nurse said she's willing to sacrifice some of her salary, in order to make sure folks who work for the school district, keep their jobs.

“Some of us have discussed, we'd be willing to take a pay cut so we can keep some of the jobs...the number of days that we work per week, we could cut some of those out and give them to somebody else so they can have a job,” said Pam Patneaude.

But, here's another issue: if lawmakers in Washington reach a deal on the federal budget, Texas could get close to $1 billion in federal stimulus funds. So, EPISD may not even have to deal with cuts. However, Hughes told us she's not counting on that money, until it's a sure thing.

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One of the best ways to save a lot of money is to close the professional staff development division and building. Every other district I have known over 30 yrs gets along just fine w/o a multi million $ building full of people who really are qualified for teaching and supervision, but are in jobs there that have no meaningful outcome and waste a great deal of money. I saw it open and hope to see it closed. What a waste of time, talent and money.

Still pepe from across the border cost the district 5k every year and that money comes from the state and the state gets that money from taxes.

So where is pepe's parents portion of paying into this system?

The government should limit assistance to one baby per teenager. Some graduate with 3 to 4 kids from different fathers. Schools provide daycare to student's children. Go back to old school. Use this money and resources on education and educators. Overcrowding schools due to many students from Juarez. We all pay taxes, so why are the ISD's in a financial crunch? Some parents of these student's parents don't pay taxes. ISD's Administrators should take a paycut as well, not the actual teachers.

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