Former EPISD superintendent payments sitting in bank


POSTED: Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 10:22pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 18, 2014 - 1:33pm

 The El Paso Independent School District received another payment on Thursday from former superintendent Lorenzo Garcia. 

That makes seven payments in less than a year.

The money he has paid so far is now sitting in the district's general fund waiting to be spent. 

This latest payment was for $1,505, which brings the total amount to $21,280 out of the $180,000 Garcia was court-ordered to pay. 

“In October of 2013 we started to receive payments,” said EPISD spokesperson Melissa Martinez. 

But those checks have not been consistent.

"That is something you will have to ask his attorney," said Martinez.

Federal Judge David Briones sentenced Garcia to federal prison in 2012 for his part in the cheating scandal that kicked hundreds of students out of schools in order to raise standardized test scores. 

His contract with the school district required he get bonuses for those higher scores. 

“Bowie High School was really targeted in the beginning," said Marcelo Campos, president of the Bowie Alumni Association.

The association for the bears said the school was painted in bad light during the scandal, so part of the money should be given back to Bowie. 

“The monies should be given to the association so it can be used for scholarships for the Bowie students and financial aid," said Campos.

Campos said they give close to $20,000 in scholarships every year.  

“We just finished ten scholarships, so next year we have to keep doing it. We have been doing it for many many years," he said.

Others agree with Campos, but say if Bowie doesn't get the money at least kids should see those dollars in the classroom.

“The money should be distributed throughout the district for all of the schools,” said Sal Rodriguez. “They can benefit in one way or another. $180,000 is a lot of money."

“It is put into a miscellaneous account,” said Martinez.  

Ultimately, it'll be up to current superintendent, Juan Cabrera, and whatever board is in place to decide how they will spend that money.

A timetable for a decision is not on anyone's radar. 

But for alumni, they just hope this time around that students will be the priority.

“The school system is there to protect the kids. The whole system is about the kids and getting a higher education, giving the kids an education," said Rodriguez.

According to federal court documents, Garcia was deemed unable to afford to pay that interest.

The sentence gives no deadline as to when that money needs to be paid in full.

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