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Superintendent Garcia's Benefits

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POSTED: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 5:55pm

UPDATED: Friday, April 22, 2011 - 9:23pm

In a gloomy economy, the El Paso School District is being forced to make tough decisions on cutting jobs and school programs.

With millions of dollars at risk of being lost, every last cent counts.

Some in the Legislature and pubic are questioning the salaries and benefits of school district administrators.

According to figures reported by the Texas Tribune, a non-profit government watch dog, EPISD Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is receiving benefits that you might view as excessive.

Since 2007, Dr. Garcia has received $2,000 a month for in-district travel.

Dr. Garcia receives the highest monthly communications allowance of the top ten largest districts in Texas.

That's $1,000 per month to help pay for his cell phone, home internet and other communications related expenses.

He has a $1 million life insurance policy, and the district pays the premiums.

He's the only Texas top ten superintendent with a perk like that.

On top of everything, he gets an $18,000 bonus for reaching one or more of the board's goals, based on student TAKS test performance.

We spoke with some members of EPISD's board today. Trustee Alfredo Borrego says the superintendent's perks may wind up on the chopping block.

"We've got to make budget cuts on the superintendent's contract and cut back on discretionary funds," Borrego said.

Other trustees are noncommittal.

"The district needs to closely review all expenses of district to ensure that maximum funding is provided towards direct instruction of the students in the district," Isela Castañon-Williams said.

So what does Superintendent Garcia have to say about all this?

We don't know.

We asked for his response starting at 10 a.m. and have yet to hear back.

NewsChannel 9 will continue to follow this story and keep you posted. 

Comments News Comments

Garcia and the EPISD should be ashamed! This is total abuse of taxpayer dollars. How dare they line this man's pockets when the economy is in the sorry state it's in and everyone is in fear of losing their jobs and struggling to keep a roof over their heads. And what does Garcia do to deserve these perks and bonuses besides sit pretty behind his desk and threaten teachers to make their students pass the TAKS or face dismissal. SHAME ON YOU, GARCIA & EPISD!

It is about time someone addressed the excessive perks and salaries of these superindendents. I agree 110% with the statement that the money needs to be focused on the direct instruction of the students. Are these superintendents in the trenches everyday with the kids? NO, they make P.R. visits for the camera while the teachers are struggling through the tough vocabulary and confusing math formulas. Instead of cutting these excessive salaries we cut teacher jobs and load up the remaining classes

It's not surprising! The education arena has always focused on themselves first and students third or fourth after all their family and friends that are on the districts payroll.Now is a perfect opportunity for all those high paid district administrators to show their solidarity towards their fellow district employees that are on the chopping block and take a cut in pay!Wishful thinking on my part!

I applaud Mr. Borrego having the courage to say that Dr. Garcia's perks should be considered when making cuts; especially the merit pay for reaching one or more of the board's goals based on TAKS test performance. Classroom teachers don't get merit pay for TAKS test scores, nor would most of them expect it for doing their jobs.

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